Qmmunity: Anti-Trans Bill Starts Moving With Quorum Restored

Plus, queer film fest aGLIFF kicks off hybrid festival and more queer events

Texas House LGBTQ Caucus in 2019 (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Don't call it a comeback. Almost immediately after the Texas Legislature established a quorum last week following the return of certain House Democrats, anti-trans legislation Senate Bill 2 began moving. A spitting image of state Sen. Charles Perry's SB 29 from this year's regular session, the Lubbock Republican's SB 2 effectively bans trans athletes from competing in school sports. On Tuesday, Aug. 24, dozens of advocates, children, and their parents testified against the bill before the House Public Education Committee in a hearing that stretched until the following morning at 6am. Interestingly, Idaho state Rep. Barbara Erhardt, a vehement proponent of anti-trans athlete legislation who testified at Tuesday's hearing, spoke highly of an equally transphobic bill authored by the lawmaker in 2020 – a bill that passed Idaho's statehouse but still isn't law following a federal judge's kibosh. Leading up to Tuesday's hearing, I'd observed some Texas/Austin qmmunity folks expressing frustration with the House Dems' return but especially so with the Texas House LGBTQ Caucus, all but one of whom have returned to the House as of this week (Rep. Celia Israel is reportedly back in Austin but it's unclear if the Austin Dem has yet to step foot in the House). Their frustration, I think, is entirely valid: It's always been clear that should a quorum be established, GOP-backed bills like SB 2 would pick up right where they left off. The sting's more acute considering Texas' trans community has been put through this once before during the regular session. When a blow feels like it's from within your own community, I'm not so sure everyone can – or is willing to – shake it off as "just politics."

2 to Do

aGLIFF Prism 34 Austin's queer film fest takes a hybrid form this year, with dozens of selections from the best in LGBTQIA film presented online and in person (read more). Opening night happens at the Galaxy. Closing night film Sh*t & Champagne will be shown drive-in style at Pioneer Farms, complete with a live Q&A and a grand drag show finale. Aug. 26-Sept. 6. Badges, $125+; GA, $12+. agliff.org

Night of 1,000 Mileys Queer threads purveyor Lonestar Queer comes in like a wrecking ball with their party dedicated to all things Miley Cyrus. Drag show hosted by CupCake with tunes from DJ BoyFriend. Sun., Aug. 29, 9pm. Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River. cheerupcharlies.com.

Q'd Up

Queer Community Care How mutual care within queer communities of color supports personal well-being. Thu., Aug. 26, 6-7:30pm. Online. fb.com/allgoqpoc.

Masc Q-Tease A hotter-than-hot night dedicated to Austin's masc-presenting performers. Thu., Aug. 26, 7-10pm. Kick Butt Coffee, 5775 Airport #725. $20-75. fb.com/somekindofunusualdancerproductions.

The Glitoris Showcase: Ssion, p1nkstar, Louisianna Purchase Thu., Aug. 26, 9:30pm. Swan Dive, 615 Red River. $40. fb.com/swandiveaustin.

Frida Friday Wave August goodbye with style at this evening market showcasing over 25 local vendors. Fri., Aug. 27, 7-11pm. Lustre Pearl South, 10400 Menchaca Rd. Free entry. fb.com/fridafridayatx.

aGLIFF Prism 34: The Big Queer Quiz Thing Gather your team of 1-6 players and put your knowledge of all things LGBTQIA – history, entertainment, and more – to the test with Austin's queer film festival. Sign-up is required by Fri., Aug. 27. Tue., Aug. 31, 7-9pm. Online. Included with badge; GA, $25. agliff.org/events.

BearBack Bingo Lady Grackle and CupCake play host while you play to win prizes. Tuesdays, 8pm-12mid. The Iron Bear, 301 W. Sixth. No cover. fb.com/theironbearatx.

Want more queer? Visit austinchronicle.com/qmmunity

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Austin LGBTQ, Texas Legislature, Texas Legislature special session, Texas House Democrats quorum, Texas House LGBTQ Caucus, Celia Israel, LGBTQIA rights, LGBTQIA legislation, Senate Bill 2, Charles Perry, aGLIFF, aGLIFF Prism 34, SB 2, Senate Bill 29, SB 29

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