SAN ANTONIO – Lauryn Farris, who is active in the transgender community in San Antonio and statewide, calls Senate Bill 6 “unnecessary and unenforceable.”
“Someone says, ‘I need to know if you can be in here. Please drop your pants.’ I hope they’re going to drop theirs first,” Farris said.
The former teacher, who is now a professional photographer, said she completed her transition as a transgender woman about 10 years ago.
Farris said she knew she was “different” when she was only 3 years old.
“When I was 5, I told my cousin that I should have been born a girl, and I got beat up,” Farris said.
Now, Farris said she believes she and the transgender community are being bullied by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
“His goal is discrimination. That’s its only purpose,” Farris said of the so-called “bathroom bill,” which is officially known as the Privacy Protection Act.
Farris said her adopted transgender daughter put it this way: “In her words, ‘It’s just stupid. It’s just people who want to spread hate.’”
The Alamo regional director of the Transgender Education Network of Texas said they’ve known the bill was coming despite the heavy financial consequence in North Carolina over a similar bill that was recently adopted into law.
Like the Texas bill, the North Carolina bill mandates transgender people use bathrooms that coincide with their gender at birth, not the one they identified with later.
“I haven’t been in a men’s restroom in a long time, and I’ve never had an issue,” Farris said.
She said SB 6 would supersede local non-discrimination ordinances, such as the one Farris fought for, which was eventually adopted in 2013.
“The people of San Antonio have spoken. They know how they feel about this,” said Farris, who also serves on the board of the Pride Center of San Antonio.
Still, Farris said, she’s worried about the bill’s possible impact on transgender students in state-funded schools and universities that are targeted by SB 6.
“No school district, no school, is going to put their funding in jeopardy,” she said.
When asked what she thought the chances are of the bill being enacted into law, Farris said, “We are going to fight it, but I would be afraid of saying it wouldn’t pass.”