Even as LGBTQ+ rights are being challenged with more than 100 anti-trans Americans bill introductions in state legislatures all over the country, there were moments of hope this June as we celebrated Pride month. Several of these bills failed, including in Texas where The States Project endorsee Representative Ann Johnson helped lead the fight to prevent an anti-trans kids bill from becoming law. Both the Texas House LGBTQ Caucus and the Texas House Democrats have named her their Freshman (Lawmaker) of the Year.
In 2020, dollars raised by Giving Circles fueled an early contribution to TSP-endorsee Ann Johnson. She hired key staff to support her campaign, and flipped her seat to become the first openly LGBTQ+ person to represent her district, and the sixth member of Texas’ LGBTQ caucus. In 2021, she helped lead a critical fight in the Texas State House to successfully prevent an anti-trans kids bill from becoming law.
Radical rightwing lawmakers hoped they could strip people of their rights and were used to no one watching. When the country’s public attention, advocacy, and organizing are focused on the state level, a little light shined can go a long way.
But we can’t always be on the defense, because we won’t always win. Despite valiant attempts by other lawmakers in our network like Florida State Representative Anna Eskamani, on June 1, the first day of Pride month, anti-trans policy became Florida law.
Instead of trying to block the worst bills, we need governing majorities who advance policies that improve lives. At the States Project, we’re working with people who care about the future of this country to help win these majorities. Whether you work with a team to elect a candidate like Rep. Johnson through a Giving Circle, or you donate through Give Smart, you’re investing in a shared vision of a country where humanity is celebrated, and diversity is respected.