A photo of Texas Governor Greg Abbot
smiling with his arm around a transgender woman has gone viral.
Abbot and Ashley Smith, a San
Antonio-based LGBT rights activist, posed for the photo on Friday
after Abbott held a rally to announce his re-election bid.
Smith shared the photo on Facebook with
the hashtag #bathroombuddy. “How will the Potty Police know I'm
transgender if the governor doesn't?” she asked in the post. As of
Wednesday, the post had received more than 5,000 likes.
Abbott called state lawmakers to
reconvene in Austin for a 30-day special session that started
Tuesday. A bill that seeks to restrict bathroom access for
transgender people is a top priority for some Republicans. Abbot has
said that he supports the legislation.
AT&T, American Airlines oppose Texas transgender bathroom bill.)
“There's really no reason to be
afraid of us,” Smith
told CNN. “We're your friends, your neighbors. We're
teachers, engineers, policemen.”
“I'm affected by this potential
legislation and so are potentially about 125,000 other transgender
Texans,” she said.
Smith added that she thinks passage of
the legislation “would be a disaster.” “Transgender people
have faced harassment just for being who they are,” she said.