March 2017: The Texas State Senate is considering Senate Bill 6, which would require transgender students in Texas schools to use the bathroom designated for their assigned gender at birth, rather than their gender identification. Galileo co-conspirator Melina Wikoff testified against the bill before the Senate State Affairs Committee at the capitol, March 6, 2017, with these words:
Good evening, Madam Chair and members of the committee. My name is Melina Wikoff and I am from Arlington. I am here to testify in opposition to SB6. As the mother of a transgender woman of color – whom you now know is among the most vulnerable in the transgender community – one of my most important jobs is to strengthen my daughter against and protect her from a world that has only in recent years begun to understand her reality but is still far from full acceptance. This is evidenced by the introduction of discriminatory bills such as SB6.
But even more important than my job as a mother is my role as a woman of faith, who is called to love God with all of my being and to love my neighbors. The Bible, from beginning to end, is the story of God at work in the world, teaching humanity God’s grace, mercy, and compassion, in a world that is bent toward self-glorification at the cost of injustice toward and the oppression of others.
History reveals that we fail to meet the mark over and over again. And so, as a woman of God who yearns to bring glory to the One who creates all life, I need only look at the example of Jesus Christ, who specifically reached out to those that the religious people of his time looked at as “other” – those that were kept from participating in the fullness of life by discriminatory, human-made rules. Jesus accepted them just as they were and loved them with a perfect love.
The history of God’s work in the world is one of progress that people of faith are called to continue. In Micah 6:8, God answers the question of what is required of us. And that is to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. And so it is with great humility that I ask you to stop SB6 today. The neighbors that you and I are called to love include our transgender Texans. I ask that you would love them as you love yourselves and the God who loves us all.
We’re not sure that she dropped the mic after that, but that’s how we like to imagine it.