Yesterday's visit involved a chat with the legislative staff of Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), one of the co-sponsors of this session's Senate Bill 6. This "bathroom bill" is very similar to the one that caused so much controversy in North Carolina. Despite that fact, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R-Talk Radio) has made this particular bit of legislation a public crusade of his. Kolkhorst published this op-ed in Sunday's Houston Chronicle, which you may need a digital subscription to read in its entirety; here is the counterpoint from Houston writer Elizabeth Gregory.
Today involved not just testimony against SB6, but also the filing of SB 1342, "Relating to prohibited nonconsensual genital surgery on certain minors with intersex traits," by Houston Democrat Sylvia Garcia. I have included Mo's testimony, very lightly edited, below the fold. And I must say, I love Mo's angle on this topic, pointing out that Texas may have occasional visitors with just a tiny number of public restrooms in this huge state that correspond to the sex marked on their birth certificates.
I am the survivor of nonconsensual sex changes. I was subjected to this at the age of 5 as a result of an anonymous caller turning my mother into the CPS stating that she was raising a little boy as a girl. You see, I was born with a hole in my heart and with an intersex condition where I was born with ambiguous genitals and with an insensitivity to testosterone. So, they removed my phallus as it was too small to be considered typical for a male, and too big to be considered female; and they also removed my testes.
Intersex, if you are not familiar with what that is, is when someone is born with a body that has an anatomical, chromosomal, or hormonal difference that usually lands somewhere in between what is usually considered typical for a male or female. The old statistic for the frequency of intersex births is 1/2000; but recent research coming out of Europe now states that that number is 1/150 births. So, if you know someone with red hair or green eyes that would give you an example of how many intersex there are.
If SB6 were to pass, this would open up a Pandora’s box. Intersex people in California and New York have successfully been able to change their birth certificate to “I”. So, if someone from one of those states were to visit or move to Texas, they might have cause for litigation against the state as “Intersex” spaces doesn’t exist. Let’s not also forget that others across the nation have changed their gender marker to “non-binary.” One key thing to note is that some intersex people are read as trans people when in fact they are not; and they will be impacted by this.
If SB6 were to pass, I know that some intersex Texans would be willing to seek legal counsel to attempt to change their birth certificate to intersex.
Thank you for your time.