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Texas Pride

by Annelysse Noelle Lopez

In 2023 alone, there have been over 75 Anti-LGBTQ laws passed across the United States. In response, The Human Rights Campaign—the leading LGBTQ rights organization in America—declared a national state of emergency for LGBTQ Americans for the first time in their 50-year history. The 75 bills represent more than double the amount passed in all of 2022.

 

This is a terrifying time for all queer Americans. People that used to be “indifferent” or “tolerant” are now vociferously indignant and publicly outraged. Queer and trans people are being called "groomers," "pedophiles," and "mentally ill." There are incumbent lawmakers calling for the eradication of trans people. Conservative news pundits are calling us criminals and there are laws against even saying the word “gay.” A national emergency is exactly what we’re facing.

 

Just last week in Texas, a ban on “sexually oriented performances” in the presence of minors passed. This will not only target drag shows; it will surely impact the lives of transgender Texans.  

 

Texas is my home state. The state I’ve lived in my entire life, and the state I thought, up until about two years ago, that I would die in. It is hard to remain in a state that makes you feel unwelcome and unwanted, and above all, unsafe. It is especially more difficult when you don’t pass as someone who is straight. As a lesbian, in a long-term relationship with another beautiful lesbian, it is so hard for me to admit that I am terrified to kiss or hold my partner’s hand anywhere but at home or in our sacred queer spaces in the city. Even when I’m walking alone, it’s been impossible not to notice the increasing number of glares, stares, the angry faces, and comments made under strangers' breath. My family migrated from Mexico to Texas three generations ago. We have made a home here that has grown into the hundreds.

 

Despite not feeling safe, I am still proud of who I am and where I come from. No homophobe or hateful bigot will ever make me ashamed of myself, my home or my pride. There are more than just bigots in Texas. There is also a large and ever-growing community of lovers and justice-fighters, ready to stand up and protect the members of our community from a growing litany of hatefulness.

 

This is the reason why it is more important than ever to highlight spaces that celebrate, protect, and advocate for the LGBTQ community. In the Dallas Fort Worth area, Origins Birth and Wellness Collective has been protecting families, educate, inform, support, and uplift all expecting couples that come into their care since 2014. Gay men, lesbian, and trans couples are all welcome, accepted, and celebrated at Origins.

In this video, Jessica and Nicole, a lesbian couple, talk about their decision to have a baby and why they selected Origins' birth workers. It's inspiring and encouraging to hear that this Texas-based organization affirmed them as a couple and attended to their physical and emotional needs throughout the entire pregnancy, birth, and post-partum experience. 

Queer people have always existed, will continue to exist, and will always exist. We are not going anywhere. We are mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, best friends, workers, lovers, artists, and activists. We are revolutionaries and our revolution is love and being loved. Our community has come so far in such a short time, and there are those that wish to erase all of our progress. It is places like Origins Collective that embrace our community that encourage us all to keep pushing, keep fighting, and to keep on loving. We’re not going anywhere. Happy pride month to you all.

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Annelysse Noelle Lopez is BOBB Films' 2023 Intern. Annelysse comes to us from the Alexandra L. Rowan Memorial Foundation's English Writing Internship Program at the University of Houston. Annelysse received her Bachelor of Arts in Media Production (with a concentration in Digital Cinematography) and a
Minor in Creative Writing concentrating in Poetry.

The Rowan Foundation is dedicated to reducing the number of lives lost due to preventable blood clots. You can hear Alex Rowan's story in The Business of Birth Control.

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