There was a point when anti-trans annoyance became a full-blown creepy obsession.
Going into the 87th Legislature, we already knew Bryan Slaton was a far-right extremist. He introduced multiple awful bills, like the racist Confederate preservation bill or mandating the death penalty for women who have abortions. However, his obsession with trans children and their genitals during this legislative session is the most disturbing of his actions.
It’s because of this obsession and likely several other antics, that none of his peers like him, except perhaps for Kyle Biedermann. This isn’t a party-line dislike, either. Both Democrats and Republicans in the Texas House have disdain for him.
It all started on March 31 as HB567 was going through its second reading. This bill was related to the removal of a child from their home by DFPS. It sought to clarify some statutes and minimize trauma for children who have to go to foster homes.
Slaton’s amendments focus on children’s gender.
During HB567, Slaton offered an amendment that would have defined “child abuse by a physician” as “affirming a child’s gender, if it is inconsistent with their biological gender.” Basically, he wanted the amendment to say that if your child is trans and you take your kid to a doctor specializing in transgender children, the doctor would become a child abuser.
Slaton didn’t even read one line of his amendment before Representative Neave called a point of order. The amendment is not germane to the bill (it had nothing to do with the bill) and changes the bill’s original purpose. The point of order was sustained.
Then, on the very next day, April 1, as HB567 was being read for the third time, Slaton attempted to introduce another amendment. His amendment said that parents who refused to affirm their child’s gender would not be at risk of losing the parent-child relationship.
Then Bryan Slaton cries tears over not being able to oppress trans-youth.
Representative Tinderholt took the back mic and asked Slaton why he is pushing this amendment. He brought up anti-LGBTQ bigot Jeff Younger. Younger has become a fixture of the alt-right, lobbying the easily influenced Republicans over his crusade against his own child.
Slaton sobbed and said Younger had CPS called on him, and Younger doesn’t want, then repeatedly referred to Younger’s daughter as “his son.”
It wasn’t about Younger’s daughter and what’s best for her. Slaton made it all about Younger’s feelings and wishes. Tinderholt said, “this is personal to you.” To which Slaton sobbed, while ugly crying, “it’s just a child, he’s a child.”
Bryan Slaton needs to seek advice from Chip Roy.
Congressman Chip Roy has mastered the art of crying on the House floor or in committees, he could probably give Slaton a few pointers on how to cry and use your words at the same time.
Representative Moody called a point of order, since the amendment would have added a second subject to the bill. The point of order was sustained.
Then, on April 14, Slaton tried it again. During the second reading of HB18, Slaton tried to highjack the bill by Republican Representative Tom Oliverson, pissing off everyone in the House.
HB18 was about lowering the cost of prescription drugs. Slaton’s amendment was to ensure that puberty blocking drugs were not prescribed under the program.
Representative Celia Israel had it by that point with Slaton’s obsession with trans children.
Israel took the back mic and grilled Slaton, which led to him embarrassing himself.
Among her questions:
- Do you know what this bill is about? (She had to ask this twice.)
- Why are you adding this drug (puberty blocker) to the bill in particular?
- You don’t agree with the medical community?
- Is it your belief that trans-children and their families cannot make these decisions?
Then Slaton brought up Jeff Younger again.
Slaton didn’t want puberty blockers prescribed to children “who were presenting.” When Representative Israel asked where he got the term “presenting” from, Slaton replied, “from Jeff Younger.”
During the dialog between Slaton and Israel, Slaton confirmed that Younger was not a constituent of his. Which is obvious, since Younger lives in Coppell and Slaton’s district is East of Dallas. All of Slaton’s focus on hurting transgender youth was his advocacy for one family that doesn’t even live in his district. I wonder how the people who live in District 2 feel about their elected official only working on one issue for a person outside of their district, while ignoring them.
Representative Erin Zwiener took the back mic and asked Slaton, “Is this amendment only about taking a swipe at transgender children?” Slaton lied and said it wasn’t, however, his point was clear.
Representative Israel spoke against the amendment.
“Thank you for allowing me to speak against this amendment, which in my view is doing harm, yet again. Members, we are in the year 2021. While I want to give Representative Slaton respect, he’s due as being a member of the house. It’s difficult given his seeming obsession with transgender children” – Celia Israel 4/14/2021.
The amendment failed.
Nevertheless, Slaton’s obsession with trans children continued.
On April 22, during the second reading of SB1 (general appropriations bill), Slaton had more amendments. Amendment #87 would have prohibited using money appropriated for the Foundation School Program to affirm certain perceptions expressed by a child.
Representative Slaton didn’t get a chance to read the amendment before Representative Zwiener called a point of order, based on the grounds that the amendment would have changed general law. The point of order was sustained.
Slaton then threw a temper tantrum at the back mic.
Speaker Dade Phelan tried so hard to remain patient with Slaton, but he was obviously on his last nerve. Slaton complained about how other members had their amendments passed but ‘whatabout’ his. Whataboutism, the faithful old Republican fallback argument.
Poor Bryan Slaton, he can’t get his hate agenda passed because no one likes him, and everyone thinks he’s a jackass.
Still, Slaton is not detoured.
More trans obsession amendments with HB15.
HB15 was the bill that created the Brain Institute of Texas, which will be created to study the brain and disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease.
The amendment would include “gender dysphoria” among the behavioral health issues the Brain Institute would study. Representative Zwiener called a point of order, but it was overruled.
Texas is lucky to have an elected official like Representative Celia Israel, who is willing to call out Slaton for causing trans children harm.
Ironically and stupidly, Bryan Slaton compared gender dysphoria to cancer.
It’s ironic because Slaton is one of the reps that repeatedly voted against helping cancer patients. We should all find it disturbing that Representative Slaton put LGBTQ hate above saving the lives of cancer patients.
Then there was the exchange between Bryan Slaton and Kyle Biedermann.
It’s both interesting and terrifying to watch. Biedermann and Slaton are definitely two birds of a feather. It wasn’t really as much of an exchange, as it was a word salad. The ridiculousness of it could be seen on Representative Chris Turner’s face as he stood behind Biedermann, shaking his head at their exchange.
The amendment failed, but Representative Slaton wasn’t ready to give up.
On May 13, during the second reading of HB2874, Slaton offered yet another amendment. Two amendments, actually. HB2874 would mandate school IDs to high school children.
The first amendment Slaton filed would stipulate that the IDs say whether the student was “mail or email.” Yes, his amendment said “mail” and not “male.”
It’s unclear whether Slaton wrote that himself or one of his aids did.
However, it is clear that someone in the Slaton circle doesn’t know the difference between “mail” and “male.” He withdrew the amendment and offered a new amendment with the word “male.”
Clearly, this was more hate towards trans children.
Again, his amendment failed.
One thing we should all give Bryan Slaton credit for is his relentlessness. Typically a good quality, if it isn’t based on hate.
Representative Huberty called a point of order, and Slaton withdrew the amendment.
How to people like Bryan Slaton get elected?
Slaton didn’t have one bill make it to the House floor. Aside from voting against helping Cancer patients, he was also one of the Republicans who repeatedly voted against helping victims of sex trafficking and was caught on video being presented gifts from domestic terrorist groups. Slaton’s only agenda this session seemed to be hurting trans children on behalf of a fundamentalist who doesn’t even live in his district.
When are we going to do better, Texas?
You can now read an ad-free version of Living Blue in Texas and help support our mission to turn Texas blue for the price of a coffee. Sign up now.