Our vote is our power, and the best thing we can do is use it to create the future we want for ourselves, our families, and our communities. As the polls draw closer, it is crucial to uplift the voices of our various communities, especially those who are often ignored. This is a series of blogs in which Texans of faith, color, and LGBTQIA+ Texans add their voices to the conversation. This is the future they want in their own words.
I am Rev. Chris Jimmerson of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin. This is the Texas I envision.
My religion calls me to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person, as well as the interdependent web of all existence to which we all belong.
As an all-important election draws near, I envision a day when the power of our vote and the passion of our actions begins to break down and dismantle systems of racism and other forms of oppression across our state. In their place are systems of equity and compassion within which we may all support one another. In their place are institutions thriving with opportunity for all.
I dream of the time when the right to bodily autonomy has become the rule of the land in Texas – from women’s reproductive freedom to compassionate practices, policies, and laws that allow trans folks to live the lives they were born to live and be free to thrive.
I imagine a time when cruel politicians no longer attempt to attack trans folks and those who love them with draconian and inhumane laws and practices.
So much of the oppression – current and potential – that the LGBTQIA+ community faces is, at its root, a denial of the basic right to bodily autonomy. May that right be permanently affirmed for us all and attempts to deny it be banished once and for all.
I dream of a state where my marriage to the man I have loved for over 30 years is respected in practice, as well as in law; where we do not have to live in fear of our marriage and the legal rights it is supposed to provide being threatened.
I envision a Texas that leads the way in protecting our precious and only home – this fragile world we call earth. I dream of a state where environmental justice is the rule rather than the exception; wherein each of us lives in an environment that is safe and nourishing.
I visualize a state where voter suppression laws and practices have been vanquished – a state that, instead, cherishes the right to vote and encourages, supports, and simplifies voting so that democracy can truly flourish.
I truly believe that if everyone is able to vote and does so in Texas, we will instead find compassionate ways to welcome people to America, rather than loading migrants–people simply seeking safety–on buses and sending them out of the state.
I can easily picture voters in Texas, if all are empowered to vote, packing up the unjust laws and practices I have outlined above and casting them out of Texas and into the permanent dustbin of history.
I envision all of these things, not just because I long to see them happen in our home, but because Texas is one of the largest and most powerful states in the country.
I believe that when we create this more just, humane, and inclusive Texas, it will bring about similar changes across the United States.
This is the power of our voices. This is the power of our vote.
This is the blessing called democracy.
This is the Texas my faith calls me to create.
I invite you to join me in this act of creation.
– Rev. Chris Jimmerson
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