LUFKIN, TX (AP) - East Texans came out to protest the Texas Legislature's proposed "bathroom bill" tonight at Louis Bronaugh Park in Lufkin.
The rally was attended by the Angelina County Democrats, the Invincibles, and other nearby groups. However, the event was orchestrated by the newly created Pride of East Texas.
"It's a piece of anti-trans legislation, that a lot of people have been worried about," said event coordinator, Ethan McBride. "Its going to scare business away from Texas, just like it has in Indiana and North Carolina already."
This event is one of the first for the group known as "POET."
"Our group, Pride of East Texas, otherwise known as POET, was just a small group of progressives that came together about a month ago ,at a county Democratic Party meeting," said McBride. "And, we were just tired of the discrimination and the hate that has been pushed by the Republican Party in this state for far too long."
Though the event was largely an anti-bathroom bill protest, it was also an initiative hoping to inspire others to be more active in politics.
"We're here today to create a local space for people who might not be able to make it all the way into Austin, but still have concerns about the special session that begins today," said Jordan Johnson, a POET member.
The event was attended by people in varying ages, but the amount of young people present was significant.
"More and more people in our age bracket is more accepting and loving of this community," said Victoria Tatum, an attendee of the event. "So I think we present a broader base of people that could be spurred to action, especially with stuff like this where all it takes is a phone call to your representative to help squash a terrible bill."
Speeches were given by POET leadership, other LGBTQ groups, and even some local community members who are hoping their voice will reach Austin.