Qmmunity: Anti-Trans Student-Athlete Bill Slithers Through the Lege

SB 29 voted out of committee for full Texas Senate vote

Ash Hall testifies at SB 29 hearing on Friday, March 26 (Image via Texas Senate)

Senate Bill 29, one of many anti-trans student-athlete bills filed this Lege session, has advanced to the Texas Senate following a late-night vote by the Senate Committee on State Affairs last Friday (March 26). As I wrote last week, SB 29's hearing was expected by some advocates to come as early as this Monday (March 29), but alas – just as last week's Chronicle went to press – the hearing was scheduled earlier than anticipated. In pre-pandemic times, short-notice organizing was inconvenient, no doubt, but in today's COVID-cautious world, delivering in-person testimony has created a vulnerable situation for advocates fighting for queer and trans rights at the Lege. Still, dozens of pro-LGBTQIA rights supporters – including student-athletes, trans Texan youth, and their parents – testified in person at Friday's committee hearing, in addition to over 140 written testimonies, by Equality Texas' count. Local advocate Ash Hall was one of several speakers who implored the committee to consider the bill's life-and-death implications for trans and nonbinary youth. "Being able to participate in something like athletics is going to be key in keeping our kids safe," said Hall, emphasizing the proven mental health benefits of physical activity. "[But] when we instead take these chances away from them and we tell them that they don't belong and that there's something wrong with them – I've seen the end of the path when we tell kids that, and it's a grave."

For more on how to provide written, video, or in-person testimony, visit www.equalitytexas.org/get-involved-at-the-capitol.

2 to Do

Blackbird Screening Adapted from the eponymous novel by Larry Duplechan, Blackbird follows a gay teenager struggling with his sexuality and religion in a small Baptist town in Mississippi. Screening hosted by Kind Clinic, Embrace Austin, Austin Black Pride, and whatsinthemirror?, plus a discussion. Sat., April 3, 6:30-9:30pm. Blue Starlite Mueller II, 2103 E.M. Franklin Ave., 512/850-6127. Free (registration required).

Poo Poo Platter Egg-Stravaganza Throw on your Sunday Fungay best for the Ladies of the OutHaus' first in-person show in over a year at this socially distanced, outdoor fête. DJ set by Daddie Dearest, plus a special Easter tradition brought to you by CupCake. BYOB and bring your own blankets/chairs, too. Sun., April 4, 3-6pm. The Little Gay Shop, 828 Airport Blvd. $25-50. www.thelittlegayshop.com/poopooplatter.

Q'd Up

Trans Lives/Trans Voices Ground Floor Theatre premieres new stories by and about trans and nonbinary Texans. Thursdays, 7pm. Online. Free. www.groundfloortheatre.org.

UnBEARable April Fools Hosts Chique Fil-Atio, Mascara Rivers, and Bulimianne Rhapsody jest, joke, and josh around, plus special guests Mandy Quinn, Chola Spears, and an Easter surprise. IRL show at the Iron Bear, or catch it streaming live on Twitch. Thu., April 1, 10pm. The Iron Bear, 301 W. Sixth. www.twitch.tv/eatmorechique.

Frida Friday ATX Face masks required to enjoy this afternoon of music from Austin Boogie Crew, 25 vendors, and community. Sun., April 4, noon-5pm. Meanwhile Brewing Co., 3901 Promontory Point. Free. www.fb.com/fridafridayatx.

Sir Rat Kink Bingo Getcher mask and yer gear for a night of socially distanced kink, plus prizes from locally owned queer businesses including Double Scorpio, Lone Star Queer, Paws on Chicon, and Sir Rat. Sun., April 4, 4-7pm. Oilcan's, 211 W. Fourth. No cover. www.fb.com/oilcanharrys.

The Sunday Beat The Poo Poo grrls' wild ride through makeuplandia. Sundays, 7pm. Online. www.twitch.tv/poopooatx.

Virtual Trans Lobby Day At TENT's lobby day for the 87th Texas Legislature, meet with elected representatives and their staffers about the lives and needs of trans Texans. Rescheduled: Thu., April 8, 10am. Online. Free (registration required). www.transtexas.org.

Queer Film Theory 101 Austin queer film fest aGLFIF teams up with Queer Film Theory 101 to find the queerness buried in seemingly straight flicks. Thu., April 8, 7pm. Online. aGLIFF members, free; nonmembers, $12. www.fb.com/queerfilmtheory101.

Want more queer? Visit austinchronicle.com/qmmunity

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Austin LGBTQ, 87th Texas Legislature, Senate Committee on State Affairs, Senate Bill 29, SB 29, Austin LGBTQIA, LGBTQIA rights, trans rights, Texas Senate, Ash Hall, Equality Texas

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