With the current political climate, it is important to remind people that the Texas Senate approved Senate Bill 6, which would require transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools, government buildings and other publicly-owned facilities that match their “biological sex” and not their gender identity, according to texastribune.org.

As of March 22, 15 Republicans of the 36 U.S. House members have confirmed they support the bill and several others are leaning toward backing it, according to the texastribune.org.

The law would also prevent local anti-discrimination laws that protect transgender residents’ right to use a public bathroom to match their gender identity.

Considering all this, it is extremely important to address why it is important to stay true to one’s self and to not conform to other people’s opinions.

For one thing, people should be celebrated for wanting to be themselves rather than conforming to other normalized ideals just to conform to other people’s standards.

Texas Woman’s University junior psychology major Karina Saucedo said she thinks it’s hard for some people to comprehend sexual identity and gender identity.

“For years, society has uprooted a gender binary: women and men.” Saucedo said. “Implying that gender is fluid threatens conservatism ideology. The Texas Senate is afraid of such threats. Therefore, they pass things like the Senate Bill 6 to uphold their traditional gender binary because to them, that is easier than acknowledging the complexity of gender identity.”

Saucedo said the bill is about discrimination, not privacy.

“This is about discrimination toward sexual minorities that do not abide to traditional norms,” Saucedo said. “In the land of the ‘free’, we have to match a certain description to obtain freedom. This is not okay.”

Saucedo also said people are free and able to express themselves. However, they’re facing unjust restrictions, such as this bill.

“I believe that neither the government or state should be allowed to dictate how we choose to express ourselves.” Saucedo said.

Sophomore psychology major Abril Chavez from Texas A&M University, who considers herself an ally of the transgender community, said she thinks the big problem with the Texas government is the majority of those who work to “represent” the people are elderly men.

“Most of them are very conservative and afraid of change which causes a big problem because the ones with a voice now is our generation and we’re not being represented properly,” Chavez said. “They believe it’s wrong and ludicrous for a person to identify themselves as anything other than their biological sex. They aren’t taking into consideration the feelings of other people or their mental health. They’re only focused on doing anything possible to keep us in check and following the old ways.”

Chavez said she advises people to simply be themselves.

“You deserve happiness!” Chavez said. “There will be people who will disapprove, but there will be even more people who are understanding and supportive. Surround yourself with people who will support and encourage you, and who will reassure you that there is no need to be intimidated. Love yourself and do what makes you happy.”

What really irks me about the whole bill is the fact that it was pushed heavily by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and he’s not someone I believe should be working for the state of Texas.

I graduated from the Fort Worth Independent School District at the same time in 2016 that Patrick called for the superintendent, Dr. Kent Paredes Scribner, to resign over the district’s new “guidelines” regarding gender and bathrooms. This made me realize that Patrick is part of the problem of the Texas government not allowing people to be themselves.

I was even at the board meeting when Patrick came to the district in May 2016 and presented his case on why he did not agree with Scribner’s guidelines. It made me think that even though this was national news, there still is not enough coverage in the media on trans issues that people can understand the complexity of the matter.

 Do not let people dictate your identity, even if it’s those who have higher authority. It’s people like the ones opposed to Senate 6 Bill that should continue fighting for their right to be whoever they want to be.

The people who want this bill to pass seem jealous that those who oppose the bill are disproving the belief that people have to adhere to one identity, when there are several out there in the world to be explored.

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Guadalupe Sanchez

Guadalupe Sanchez is a freshman mass communications major at Texas Wesleyan. She recently graduated from Amon Carter Riverside High School, where she helped create the yearbook and newspaper, served as an editor for three years, and was editor-in-chief her senior year. Guadalupe came to Texas Wesleyan in hopes of working towards a career in journalism. In her free time, she likes spending time with her friends and family.

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