TransVisible Project Pushes Back Against GOP’s Misinformation Campaign
As states like North Carolina come under fire for passing laws to further discriminate against transgender people, we must remember that the very same misinformation campaigns targeting trans people have been launched — and have succeeded — in Texas. In the aftermath of the repeal of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance — and in anticipation of countering legislation targeting gay and transgender Texans during the upcoming 2017 Texas legislative session — Equality Texas launched a public education campaign called the TransVisible Project.
In Texas, it is totally legal for transgender people to be fired or denied housing because of their gender identity — just because of who they are. According to a 2012 survey, most trans Texans have experienced some form of discrimination or harassment and are disproportionately likely to fall below the poverty line.
Trans people, and particularly trans women of color, are also extremely vulnerable to violence. The first known murder of a U.S. trans woman in 2016 took place in Austin, and earlier this month another trans woman was murdered in Houston.
With the repeal of HERO in 2015, it’s clear that many Texans may still buy into deeply negative stereotypes about transgender people. As a result, lawmakers continue to support discriminatory policies that make life harder for an already marginalized population.
Believing in false stereotypes often comes down to a lack of information, and a lot of cisgender people simply don’t know a trans person. Once they do, they are more likely to reconsider their preconceived notions about trans people and become much more accepting.
To help fight these damaging lies, the TransVisible Project showcases portraits of trans Texans. The project raises awareness about the fact that trans Texans are no different from their cis neighbors — and that they too deserve equal rights and respect.