Famous musicians are trying to stop an anti-trans Texas bill before it becomes law.

"Bills like these are poison."

So reads a letter addressed to "Texas Leaders" signed by over 100 prominent artists in opposition to Texas Senate Bill 6 and House Bill 1362. Both are so-called "bathroom bills" that would require transgender students in public schools and people who work in certain state buildings to use the restroom that corresponds to their biological sex rather than their gender identity.

The letter is signed by a roster of celebrities including Ariana Grande, Sting, Sara Bareilles, Amy Poehler, Emma Stone, and Laverne Cox — who recently shouted out Gavin Grimm, a transgender Virginia student whose school board barred him from using the boys bathroom  — at the Grammys.


Image by The Ally Project.

"Transgender and gender non-conforming people are already subjected to bullying and harassment," the letter reads. "Can you imagine the message these bills send to children — the message of 'that child is unwelcome, that child is dangerous?'"

After North Carolina's HB2 was passed, artists responded with denunciations and boycotts. This time, the performers are taking a stand against the bill to prevent it from becoming law in the first place.

The letter was spearheaded by Jack Antonoff, lead singer and songwriter of Bleachers and co-founder of The Ally Coalition, which is sponsoring the campaign against the bills in conjunction with Equality Texas and GLAAD.

"What we want to do is stop it, but if we can’t stop it, we want to try and cast a light on it," Antonoff says. "We don’t want it to go through quietly. We want people to know what’s going on."

Jack Antonoff. Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images.

Antonoff was motivated to take action on the legislation, in part, through his work with New Alternatives, a New York City-based support organization for homeless LGBTQ youth. Bills like SB6, he says, make things worse for everyone by ostracizing LGBTQ children from their peers and communities.

The Ally Coalition plans to target six different categories of bills.

In addition to these "bathroom bills," the organization will work to oppose state-level bills meant to repeal same-sex marriage, bills that allow groups on college campuses to discriminate against LGBTQ students, religious liberty bills, bills that strip housing and workplace protections from LGBTQ people, and bills that require school officials to out LGBTQ students to their parents.

In the meantime, the group is urging its followers to sign on to the campaign and for those who live in Texas to call their representatives and speak out. Their site includes a form with a sample letter for supporters who want to register their opposition to the law.

Antonoff wants his fellow performers to be bold and address the issue at their shows.

Ariana Grande, a signatory to the letter, performs in Las Vegas. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

"The biggest way you can fight back as someone with an audience is to speak to your audience," he says.

Getting thousands of screaming concertgoers to scream against discriminatory legislation, he hopes, might just wake up a state legislator or two.

And now is the time — before anyone gets hurt.

Lainey and baby goat Annie. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse
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Oftentimes, the journey to our true calling is winding and unexpected. Take Lainey Morse, who went from office manager to creator of the viral trend, Goat Yoga, thanks to her natural affinity for goats and throwing parties.

Back in 2015, Lainey bought a farm in Oregon and got her first goats who she named Ansel and Adams. "Once I got them, I was obsessed," says Lainey. "It was hard to get me off the farm to go do anything else."

Right away, she noticed what a calming presence they had. "Even the way they chew their cud is relaxing to be around because it's very methodical," she says. Lainey was going through a divorce and dealing with a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis at the time, but even when things got particularly hard, the goats provided relief.

"I found it impossible to be stressed or depressed when I was with them."

She started inviting friends up to the farm for what she called "Goat Happy Hour." Soon, the word spread about Lainey's delightful, stress-relieving furry friends. At one point, she auctioned off a child's birthday party at her farm, and the mom asked if they could do yoga with the goats. And lo, the idea for goat yoga was born.

A baby goat on a yoga student. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Goat yoga went viral so much so that by fall of 2016, Lainey was able to quit her office manager job at a remodeling company to manage her burgeoning goat yoga business full-time. Now she has 10 locations nationwide.

Lainey handles the backend management for all of her locations, and loves that side of the business too, even though it's less goat-related. "I still have my own personal Goat Happy Hour every single day so I still get to spend a lot of time with my goats," says Lainey. "I get the best of both worlds."

Lainey with her goat Fabio. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Since COVID-19 hit, her locations have had to close temporarily. She hopes her yoga locations will be able to resume classes in the spring when the vaccine is more widely available. "I think people will need goat yoga more than ever before, because everyone has been through so much stress in 2020," says Lainey.

Major life changes like Lainey's can come around for any number of reasons. Even if they seem out of left field to some, it doesn't mean they're not the right moves for you. The new FOX series "Call Me Kat", which premieres Sunday, January 3rd after NFL and will continue on Thursday nights beginning January 7th, exemplifies that. The show is centered around Kat, a 39-year old single woman played by Mayim Bialik, who quit her math professor job and spent her life's savings to pursue her dreams to open a Cat Café in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jeff Harry started making similar moves when he was just 10-years-old, and kept making them throughout his life. After seeing the movie "Big,"Jeff knew he wanted to play with toys for a living, so he started writing toy companies asking for next steps. He finally got a response when he was a sophomore in high school — the company told him he needed to become a mechanical engineer first.

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