MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As a number of anti-LGBTQ bills make their way through the Tennessee legislature, here in Memphis, activists are outraged. 

Today, at least a hundred people gathered at Out Memphis in Midtown to discuss the bills—and what they mean for the community. 

We heard from a number of speakers here this afternoon- from all different organizations in the city. But one common thread from them all- was that this upcoming election is pivotal to protect LGBTQ rights. 

A rainy afternoon in Midtown—didn’t stop more than 100 people from coming out to rally for LGBTQ rights. 

“These bills and this legislation is harmful, it’s violent, and if I’m quite honest, stupid as hell,” Lacretia Carroll said, Assistant Professor at UTHSC and OUTMemphis board member.  

They’re here—after the Tennessee legislature has introduced more than 20 bills they say are meant to deny their basic freedoms. 

One of them- which is currently waiting for the governor’s signature before it will become law- bans drag performances for minors. 

“It’s so important to queer culture, and this is a huge attack on everything queer people have worked to build,” Hunny Blunt, a drag queen said.

Another bill on the governor’s desk would prevent minors from receiving transgender-related healthcare. Legislators who voted in favor say it’s their way of protecting our kids.

“We’re not going to have any kind of whack doctor coming into this state and start doing double mastectomies on children that are suffering from body dysmorphia,” William Lamberth, House majority leader said.

But advocates say that trans rights, are human rights and there is no room for politics in healthcare. 

They worry this is just the beginning adding if this passes, it will become a blueprint for other anti-LGBTQ bills to pass in the future. 

“They will come for all of our rights, all of your rights, all of your rights, they’ll come for all of it until there’s nothing left. So everyone should band together and fight this because it’s just the beginning,” Jenna Dunn said from OUTMEMPHIS.

They say the most important thing people can do to prevent these types of bills from becoming law, is to get out and vote in the next election.