The Texas Senate is in the middle of a costly special session, with Republicans hoping to push through controversial bills, including legislation seeking to limit bathroom access for transgender people.
Athlete Ally released a video on Tuesday voiced by Mack Beggs, who shared a bit of his personal story and urged lawmakers not to pass legislation limiting the rights of the transgender community.
Beggs made headlines when he was forced to compete with the girls, despite requesting the chance to wrestle boys, and eventually went on to win the state title.
Following his win, a bill was proposed in the state to ban transgender athletes, but it failed.
“I’ll never forget the time I was able to use the locker room and restroom consistent with my gender identity. It was an acknowledgement of who I am, and made me feel like I belonged on my team and in my school,” Beggs says in the video.
“Transgender athletes aren’t cheating, we aren’t choosing, we belong. And now legislators are trying to take that from us, and strip us from legal protections,” he continues.
He adds that people are trying to use scaremongering to rally others against the transgender community.
“Transgender people are not to be feared,” Beggs says. “We deserve the same rights and protections as everyone else. Our ability to access spaces consistent with our gender identities, and to have the same legal protections and opportunities to thrive should not be infringed upon.”
“Creating laws that force us out of public spaces and into harm’s way isn’t what our state stands for. These potential laws only increase the likelihood of us being assaulted, or worse, and only serves to isolate and exclude the entire LGBTQ community.
“So if you’re a legislator thinking of passing a bill that denies who we are, or makes people fear us, stop. We exist and so do our rights.”
The video ends with a call to action, asking viewers to text “EQUALITY” to 51555 to sign the Athlete Ally Pledge “to demand equality and inclusion for all transgender people, both in sports and under the law.”