More

'Bathroom bills' are harmful and absurd. This Texas woman's pic shows why.

A transgender Texas woman snapped a photo at a rally for Gov. Greg Abbott. The internet is loving it.

As many constituents do, Texan Ashley Smith recently snapped a picture with Gov. Greg Abbott at a re-election rally for the Republican leader in San Antonio on July 14.

At face value, the photo may not appear all that unique. But the message behind it (and hashtagged across it) truly is worth a thousand words.

How will the Potty Police know I'm transgender if the Governor doesn't? #bathroombuddy #satx #indivisible #stopsb6 #noh8 #transgender #translivesmatter #sunsetandsinedie #classroomsnotbathrooms


Posted by Ashley Smith on Saturday, July 15, 2017

Smith is transgender. And the photo comes at a critical time for trans rights in Texas.

Gov. Abbott supports Texas' Senate Bill 6 — legislation that would force transgender people to use the restroom that corresponds with the sex they were assigned at birth, regardless of their actual gender identity, in public facilities.

The bill, Abbott has argued in vague terms, protects "privacy in bathrooms."

Without the support of house speaker and moderate Republican Joe Straus, the controversial bill stalled in the spring. But in June, the governor called a 30-day special session — which began this week — in part to further press lawmakers to resurrect the measure.

Texas' bathroom bill isn't just harmful, it's impossible to enforce, which is the point Smith wanted to make with her photo.

"How will the Potty Police know I'm transgender if the Governor doesn't?" Smith mocked in the caption of the viral photo, which has amassed 5,000 Likes and thousands of shares.

While everyone should have access to a bathroom that aligns with their gender — regardless if a person visually "passes" as that gender or not — Smith's photo highlights the absurd notion that that regulation could possibly be applied in a consistent way.

Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images.

"We're about 1-in-300 people, we're all over the place, we're your friends and your neighbors," she explained to the San Antonio Express-News. "Some of us are not immediately obvious as trans. And the idea that you are going to be able to enforce a bathroom bill — I mean, the enforceability is just not there."

Even more important than the law's enforceability, research shows bills like the one in Texas are dangerously misguided.

Motivations behind these so-called "bathroom bills" cropping up in states across the country are born from the myth that sexual predators take advantage to prey on victims. That's simply not true.

Ironically, research shows people who are transgender are the ones living more at risk of violence and harassment. Laws that allow them to use facilities that correspond with their gender — as opposed to ones that restrict access to safe restrooms — help in reducing that risk.

In Texas, Smith believes, politicians should pay attention to reality.

"I think [Senate Bill 6] would be a disaster," Smith explained to CNN. "Transgender people have faced harassment just for being who they are."

Learn more about Texas' Senate Bill 6 and how to fight back at the Human Rights Campaign.

Upworthy reached out to Ashley Smith for comment. This article may be updated.

True

It takes a special type of person to become a nurse. The job requires a combination of energy, empathy, clear mind, oftentimes a strong stomach, and a cheerful attitude. And while people typically think of nursing in a clinical setting, some nurses are driven to work with the people that feel forgotten by society.

Keep Reading Show less
via Pexels

The Emperor of the Seas.

Imagine retiring early and spending the rest of your life on a cruise ship visiting exotic locations, meeting interesting people and eating delectable food. It sounds fantastic, but surely it’s a billionaire’s fantasy, right?

Not according to Angelyn Burk, 53, and her husband Richard. They’re living their best life hopping from ship to ship for around $44 a night each. The Burks have called cruise ships their home since May 2021 and have no plans to go back to their lives as landlubbers. Angelyn took her first cruise in 1992 and it changed her goals in life forever.

“Our original plan was to stay in different countries for a month at a time and eventually retire to cruise ships as we got older,” Angelyn told 7 News. But a few years back, Angelyn crunched the numbers and realized they could start much sooner than expected.

Keep Reading Show less

Courtesy of Elaine Ahn

True

The energy in a hospital can sometimes feel overwhelming, whether you’re experiencing it as a patient, visitor or employee. However, there are a few one-of-a-kind individuals like Elaine Ahn, an operating room registered nurse in Diamond Bar, California, who thrive under this type of constant pressure.

Keep Reading Show less

We're dancing along too.

Art can be a powerful unifier. With just the right lyric, image or word, great art can soften those hard lines that divide us, helping us to remember the immense value of human connection and compassion.

This is certainly the case with “Pasoori,” a Pakistani pop song that has not only become an international hit, it’s managed to bring the long divided peoples of India and Pakistan together in the name of love. Or at least in the name of good music.
Keep Reading Show less

Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas teaches you how to pee.

A pelvic floor doctor from Boston, Massachusetts, has caused a stir by explaining that something we all thought was good for our health can cause real problems. In a video that has more than 5.8 million views on TikTok, Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas says we shouldn’t go pee “just in case.”

How could this be? The moment we all learned to control our bladders we were also taught to pee before going on a car trip, sitting down to watch a movie or playing sports.

The doctor posted the video as a response to TikTok user Sidneyraz, who made a video urging people to go to the bathroom whenever they get the chance. Sidneyraz is known for posting videos about things he didn’t learn until his 30s. "If you think to yourself, 'I don't have to go,' go." SidneyRaz says in the video. It sounds like common sense but evidently, he was totally wrong, just like the rest of humanity.

Keep Reading Show less