Video shows trans activist block official in Texas senate, compare anti-drag show pols to Nazis
An activist could be seen in video footage wrestling with a Texas senate official who was trying to stop a transgender woman from testifying over her allotted time.
In the video that went viral, officials repeatedly asked Loren Perkins to abide by state senate rules to stop giving testimony at the end of her allotted two minutes on Thursday.
However, the unidentified activist continued to obstruct the official as Perkins compared lawmakers to Nazis for trying to criminalize sexual drag performances in front of kids.
She continued her tirade, comparing a pair of drag show bills to a “fascist ideology” like that from “a small man with a smaller mustache” in 1930s Germany.
After repeated ignored requests, an official — later IDed as Sergeant-at-Arms Austin Osborn — walked forward to turn off the microphone.
As he approached, an activist in a pink-and rainbow-colored outfit leaped forward, blocking the official and repeatedly pushing back as Perkins continued ranting — shouting her final words even after the mic was cut.
It was not immediately clear if any action was taken against the interfering activist or Perkins for disobeying the rules.
However, Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick called it “unacceptable” and said it “will not be permitted.”
“We will not tolerate unruly behavior in the Texas Senate from witnesses,” Patrick tweeted with one of the clips of the interaction.
The drama came as dozens of drag performers and their allies testified in the Senate State Affairs Committee on Thursday against a pair of bills filed by Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes.
One, SB 12, would impose a $10,000 fine on business owners who host sexually-orientated drag shows in front of children. It defines a sexually oriented performance as one in which someone is naked or in drag and “appeals to the prurient interest in sex,” The Texas Tribune noted.
Hughes also filed SB 1601, which would withhold state funds from municipal libraries that host events in which drag performers read kids’ books to children.
The other, SB 1601, would withhold state funds from municipal libraries that host drag story time events.
Perkins started her speech by sarcastically noting how she had been “graciously provided by this body a mere two minutes to plead the case for my humanity” as a transgender person.
“By hiding your bigotry behind children like cowards you will find yourself on the wrong side of history,” she raged at lawmakers supporting the bills.
“By manipulating the words of an ancient text and shoehorning it into legislation aimed at an at-risk, minority population you liken yourself to another group that gained popularity in Germany in the 1930s,” she said of Hitler and his Nazis.
“When a small man with a smaller mustache stood before crowds and proclaimed himself superior to others, I see you here doing the same,” she said.
“Some of the first imprisoned under the Nazi Party rule were homosexual and transgender people,” she said, claiming that “likely the first woman to undergo successful gender reassignment surgery” was among those killed in Nazi death camps.
“When those prison camps for free by the allies, and we were the ones who are still kept in prison for our so-called crimes — for loving who we love, and for living our truth.
“We can see through this veneer of legislation and assess the intended target: the continued marginalization and othering of the LGBTQIA plus community.”
As beeps marked the end of her time, Perkins continued to rage that she
would not “sit here and debate your fascist ideology as peddlers of intolerance deserve no such sage on a public forum.”
she continued to rage for another 40 seconds as the activist blocked her removal, saying they “would not stand” for the legislation.
“We may not win today, and we may not win tomorrow, but we will persist as we always have,” she said.
“If you wish to eradicate transgenderism from the public light as members of your party have said… you can pry that from my cold dead hands,” she said, shouting the final words after the microphone was cut.
One of the now-viral clips of the interaction was taken by a teacher, Sophia Deloretto, who gave evidence alongside Perkins, claiming her third-grade kids had no problems with drag shows.
She blamed the senate rules while justifying the activists’ actions.
“It’s almost laughable that they want to talk about order and procedure when that procedure is giving people no more than two minutes — two minutes! — to defend their right to exist in this state,” Deloretto said in a follow-up video.
“I just think we’re going to look back on this moment in history one day and wonder why more people weren’t screaming at the top of their lungs.”