Texas Republican Lawmaker Jeff Leach Trolled Hearing Anti-Trans HB 888 Anita, Holden, Connie | Dallas Observer

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This Local GOP Lawmaker Just Got Mercilessly Trolled

LGBTQ+ advocates have blasted House Bill 888 as anti-trans.
LGBTQ+ advocates have blasted House Bill 888 as anti-trans. Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash
News coming out of the Texas Capitol is often heavy and contentious, especially lately. Everything from LGBTQ+ rights to voting rights to free speech rights are on the chopping block this session.

So a little levity is always welcome. This time, it just happens to come at the expense of state Rep. Jeff Leach, a Republican from Plano.

In a video that had received more than 25,500 views as of late Friday morning, Leach gets trolled. Hard. The clip shows Leach, who serves as chair of the House Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence, calling the names of the next speakers during a hearing for a controversial anti-trans bill.

It's a true moment of slapstick zen: a masterclass on how to properly punk your local legislator.

Leach starts out in the 35-second clip: "Is there a Connie Lingus here? What about Anita Dickinme?"

At that, a woman in the audience starts to laugh.

"Or Holden — Holden Midick," Leach says in a deadpan tone.

More chuckles erupt from the good-humored woman.

"OK, are any three of those people here?" Leach continues.

The same woman, who has since been dubbed the Observer's Hero of the Week, is struggling to hold it together at this point.

"All right. You got your, you got your, you got your moment," Leach says, sounding like a tired Texas dad who just plopped down on a whoopee cushion. The whole room is laughing now.

"I hope you enjoy it." Oh, we did.

Some political observers gave Leach props for his composure, and the lawmaker himself acknowledged the clip in a Friday tweet.

"In the rough & tumble of politics & policy making, it’s good to know we can still laugh & smile together. If me being the brunt of a joke is what it takes to remind people of that – then I’m okay with it," Leach wrote, adding: "And I look forward to meeting Connie, Anita and Holden very soon." Glad to see that Leach doesn't take himself too seriously, but it should also be noted that LGBTQ+ advocates have blasted the bill in question as yet another conservative attack on transgender youth. House Bill 888 relates to the statute of limitations for claims of healthcare malpractice regarding gender-affirming care for young trans Texans.

PinkNews, an LGBTQ+ online publication based in the U.K., also poked fun at the Bart Simpson-esque moment but reminded readers of the reality of "relentless anti-trans legislation sweeping US legislatures." 
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Simone Carter is a staff news reporter at the Dallas Observer who graduated from the University of North Texas' Mayborn School of Journalism. Her favorite color is red, but she digs Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.
Contact: Simone Carter

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