AUSTIN (AP/KXAN) — A transgender Texan has posted an all-smiles photo with Gov. Greg Abbott to protest a “bathroom bill” that state lawmakers will again consider during a special legislative session beginning Tuesday.
Ashley Smith, who lives in San Antonio, posed with Abbott after he announced his re-election campaign Friday in San Antonio.
She later identified herself in the photo as a “trans woman” and posted it on Instagram and Facebook with #BATHROOM BUDDY. In her Instagram post, she also hashtagged #translives matter and #classroomsnotbathrooms among several others.
Smith, who has been active with groups opposing the bathroom bill, also posted: “How will the Potty Police know I’m transgender if the Governor doesn’t?” and received thousands of likes and more than a thousand shares.
Smith tells KXAN she the comments she’s received have been overwhelmingly positive. “I’m happy to see the picture gaining so much traction and hope that a few Republican lawmakers will change their minds as a result and stop this bill,” said Smith.
Texas tried and failed to pass a North Carolina-style law requiring transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding to their birth-certificate gender during the regular session ending in May. But Abbott revived the issue for the 30-day extra session.