One of the world’s largest music festivals is taking a clear stance against anti-trans discrimination.
Texas may be a step closer to getting its own bathroom bill, but South by Southwest (SXSW) is not having it.
On Tuesday (14 March), the Texas Senate in Austin voted in favor of SB6, the state’s version of North Carolina’s bathroom bill.
Just a few block away SXSW, the world-famous conglomerate of festivals – covering film, music, and interactive media – and conferences is taking over the Austin Convention Center.
And they’re sending a clear message about what they think of dictating which bathroom trans people may use.
Users have shared pictures of signs promoting inclusivity and diversity, which were put up in bathrooms at the Austin Convention Center, according to Twitter users.
— Kevin Brown (@brownsnr) March 9, 2017
‘SXSW pledges to continue to make our event inclusive, diverse, and forward-thinking,’ the sign reads.
‘We oppose discriminatory legislation such as the Texas SB6 “bathroom bill” and support civil rights for all persons everywhere.’
They only have one request for anyone using the bathroom: ‘Now don’t forget to wash your hands.’
The response was positive, with many users praising SXSW for openly opposing the bill being crafted in their backyard.
— Nicole Bleuel (@NicoleBleuel) March 11, 2017
SXSW is a major player in the economy of Austin. Its estimated economic impact of $218 million in 2013 places the festival as one of the city’s highest revenue-producing events.
Beyond SXSW the organizers hold two additional events in Austin: SXSWedu and SXS Eco, and educational and an environmental conference.
They also hold SXSW V2V in Las Vegas, which focuses on innovative startups.
Gay Star News has approached SXSW for comment.