A Transgender Woman’s Photo With the Texas Governor Is Going Viral for a Good Reason

A photo of a smiley Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, posing with a woman after a speaking event in San Antonio is going viral but probably not for reasons Abbott expected when the photo was taken. The woman in the photo, Ashley Smith, is a transgender woman, and she posted her pic with the governor on Facebook with the text “#BATHROOMBUDDY” typed on top of it to make a smart point about a law being considered in Texas that would put restrictions on when and how transgender people can use the restroom in public places.

In the accompanying photo caption, Smith wrote: “How will the Potty Police know I’m transgender if the Governor doesn’t?” The whole thing is meant to show that Smith would be forced to use the men’s restroom if Texas’s Senate Bill 6 were to pass in a special legislative session this summer.

Similar to a North Carolina law, S.B. 6 is a bathroom bill that would force Texans to use public restrooms and locker rooms that coincide with the assigned, biological sex on their birth certificates. For transgender Texans like Smith, it would mean using a restroom that doesn’t match her gender identity and turns a routine trip to the restroom into something of a nightmare.

To show just how ridiculous it is to police which bathroom people use in public, Smith chose a photo with the governor — who’s a supporter of S.B. 6 — as a form of protest.

“Once I had the photo, I was eager to get on social media just because I wanted to make a point,” Smith told the Houston Chronicle. “We’re about 1-in-300 people, we’re all over the place, we’re your friends and your neighbors. Some of us are not immediately obvious as trans. And the idea that you are going to be able to enforce a bathroom bill, I mean the enforceability is just not there.”

Follow Hannah on Twitter.