New Texas Bathroom Bill Excludes Trans Men—Because “Men Can Defend Themselves”

Business leaders estimate Senate Bill 6 could cost the state $8 billion.

Despite the fact that North Carolina’s HB2 cost the state nearly $400 million, a Texas legislator is dead-set on introducing a bathroom bill in the Lone Star State.

Only this one specifically excludes trans men.

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 07:  Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick watche from the sidelines at Kyle Field on November 7, 2015 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has said that Senate Bill 6, which would bar transgender women from using public women’s restrooms, is a “top priority.” SB6, which Patrick intends to introduce to Texas lawmakers on January 10, makes no mention of transgender men, however.

Patrick has said that’s because “men can defend themselves.”

His rationale is tragically ironic when you consider that choosing a restroom is often a tense decision for trans men forced to worry about their own safety: A recent survey found that 12 percent of trans people have been sexually assaulted, or attacked verbally or physically, in a public restroom.

Todd Sumlin/Charlotte Observer/TNS

“In [men’s rooms], I seem to spark a unique and terrifying mix of sexual objectification and male-to-male aggressiveness,” Jake Damien wrote for Fusion.

Patrick, who has attempted to re-brand SB6 as a “Women’s Privacy Act”, claims its purpose is to “stop sexual predators from taking advantage,” although no such incidents have ever been substantiated in Texas—or anywhere else.

While he’s busy creating discriminatory and wholly unnecessary legislation under the pretense of keeping cisgender women safe, trans men and women are actually in dire need of protection.

This year was the deadliest year on record for trans people. And again, there were zero reported cases of trans people threatening others in public bathrooms.

DURHAM, NC - MAY 11:  A gender neutral sign is posted outside a bathrooms at Oval Park Grill on May 11, 2016 in Durham, North Carolina. Debate over transgender bathroom access spreads nationwide as the U.S. Department of Justice countersues North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory from enforcing the provisions of House Bill 2 (HB2) that dictate what bathrooms transgender individuals can use.  (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
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After witnessing what happened in North Carolina after HB2, Texas business leaders are preemptively attacking SB6. The Texas Association of Business (TAB) says a bathroom bill could cost the state up to $8.5 billion.

“Discriminatory legislation is bad for business,” says TAB president Chris Wallace. “We cannot slam the door on the Texas miracle of openness, competitiveness, economic opportunity and innovation.”

Still, Lou Weaver, the transgender programs coordinator at Equality Texasisn’t entirely confident the community can stop the bill from passing.

“Unfortunately, at this point in time—and with Dan Patrick making this his personal agenda—I am scared that this could be the law of the land in Texas soon,” he told Broadly. “I do know that there are coalitions being built and we will do everything we can in our power to make sure that it doesn’t happen; but I am scared for myself and my community.”

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