Senator Joan Huffman, a Republican in the Texas State Senate, is being criticized for calling a transgender man a “pervert” during his testimony at a hearing over the states bathroom bill. Clinical psychologist and transgender male Colt Keo-Meier from the Transgender Health Lab at the University of Houston was offering his expertise as part of the proceedings leading up to a vote on the bill by the state senate.
Meier’s testimony was full of heartbreaking revelations about the transgender community. Including the fact that 40% of all trans gendered people have attempted suicide and that the leading cause of death for those individuals was the acceptance or rejection that they felt from their peers. His message was literally – though he delivered it with a polite and respectful attitude – that this bill will lead directly to the deaths of children.
Obviously, Senator Joan Huffman, chair of the State Affairs Committee, was not moved by the story of thousands of dead trans children. She became especially dismissive once she found out that Colt Keo-Meier was himself transgender. Almost immediately after he mentioned his own journey, she cut him off and told him to “wrap things up.” Thankfully, some of her fellow Senators were more compassionate and asked him a number of other questions.
Though this too seemed to upset her. And when Meier was asking a hypothetical question about whether or not transgender people are actually perverts, she muttered “you are a pervert” into a microphone she didn’t realize was still broadcasting:
This sort of close minded attitude is not rare. Plenty of people can overlook the damage they’re doing if they have beliefs that serve to dehumanize their victims. But Senator Huffman is in a position of power and one particularly able to influence a decision that will ruin and end the lives of dozens of children in the state of Texas. Since she seems unable or unwilling to put her own biases aside for the sake of her constituents perhaps it is time for her to go.
If you’d like to hear the full testimony you can find it here. The offending comment can be heard (barely) just before the 28-minute mark.
Featured image via video screen capture