Texas Conservative Speaks Against Bathroom Bill

One of the things that I love about my Rotary Club in Denton is that we have a really diverse group – a slice across all of Denton. And we know and trust and support each other. Over and over again, we have conservatives support liberals to run for a local election, and vice versa. That’s because we all want Denton to be the greatest city, and we know we have a lot more in common that we have different from each other.

I don’t understand why that doesn’t happen on the state level, or the national level. I guess it’s because people don’t get to know each other. People start with where they disagree, so they can never get to common ground. If they started with what they have in common, and said, “We may not agree on everything, but we both want good things for people,” they could build some common ground.

That common ground is what happened to me when I learned that a fellow Rotarian – a local small business owner I know and like – is the mother of a child who is transgender.

When I first found this out, it was when that silly North Carolina bathroom bill was going on. And I guessed, from knowing Amber, that she and I were politically different in some ways. I’m a fiscal conservative, low-tax, pro-gun guy. I tend to vote to the right, and I’m a “leave me alone” type of person. So maybe we don’t see eye-to-eye on every issue. And I’m sure my incendiary political Facebook posts over the last year or so probably made Amber think twice about me, in general.

So one day, I just pulled her aside after Rotary and said, “Hey, just so you know, there are people who you might think don’t agree with your family. But I dig what you guys are doing. You’ve got to support your children; that’s what our job is.” I told her I certainly support them, too. 

I think all this bathroom stuff is silliness, quite frankly. The real fact of the matter is that these bills won’t do anything. Who is going to police it – are you going to have a police officer standing outside every restroom? And a criminal is going to do criminal things, period; so this really does nothing but put a stigma where there already is one that needs to go away.

I’m a father, and I don’t worry at all about my kids being in a locker room with a transgender kid. Making them use a third bathroom, you’re singling them out. It’s not equal then. It puts a spotlight on somebody who doesn’t need an extra spotlight on them. I don’t like that at all, quite frankly.

I think in truth, a small fraction of people actually want these bills. It’s super easy to skew a poll in your favor by the way that you ask questions, so I think it’s a bunch of bull. Our lawmakers know that if they scare people, that turns out primary voters. What the scare tactic is just depends on the year. I’d like to see our lawmakers do what their constituents really want, instead of sensationalizing everything and scaring people.

I do understand that this whole thing is kind of new to people. In the 80s, it was considered bad by a lot of people to be gay. Then we all realized we knew and liked someone who was gay. I think that this is another thing that is going to take a bit of time, unfortunately, for people to learn more about and get used to. People don’t always know that that person in line in the grocery store, or in the cubicle across from them, is transgender.

I recently saw Amber at a Rotary Club meeting. I told her I had read a new article about her family on Breitbart. I thought it was pretty straightforward and fair. I teased her that she had really “made it” now that she was on Breitbart. Despite all of our little differences, people are people, and we all really want the same thing: to live a good life and to get along. I want only the best for Amber and her family. She’s a great mom, and a great Dentonite, and her son is a great kid. I can only hope that our lawmakers can see that, too.


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