As someone married to a belly dancer — and friends with many other belly dancers — I am used to being exposed to an excessive amount of glitter, mostly the kind that comes in a spray can. Maybe I am just used to it, but I don’t consider glitter to be especially dangerous (although it can hurt if you get it in your eye, also something I know from experience).
Apparently though, the Texas Department of Public Safety has a much different view of glitter. They consider it to be a dangerous weapon worthy of a special warning to Texas legislators. As The Texas Tribune reports, “In an email forwarded to legislative staffers on Thursday [March 5], a Department of Public Safety captain warned of ‘glitter bombs’ being sent to state lawmakers and attached a document titled ‘Glitter Bombing: Weapon of Choice for Gay Rights, Pro Choice Advocates.’”
The warning came after a spring-loaded tube filled with glitter was sent to state Rep. Debbie Riddle’s district office in Spring. For those who might now remember, Riddle is that bastion of intelligence and family values who has introduced bills that would make it a crime from trans people to use public bathrooms or to knowingly allow a trans person to use a public bathroom in your place of business.
The DPS email says: “Glitter bombing is a relatively recent phenomenon and has been adopted as a form of protest, particularly (but not exclusively) by gay rights activists and supporters.” It lists several prominent politicians who were glitter bombed, noting that the “common denominator” among them “is a conservative orientation and opposition to gay rights, especially marriage equality.”
Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, called the claim “all talk with no actual facts or proof to back it up,” adding, “In the pro-choice movement, we advocate using logic, reason and the strong values of our issue rather than glitter.”
Busby also likened the warning to then-Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s claims that pro-choice supporters were bringing “bags of feces” to the state Capitol during the debate over abortion in 2013.
And Kevin Nix, communications director for the new LGBT advocacy organization Texas Wins, told the Tribune that the DPS “has it wrong. Our ‘weapon of choice’ to end ugly discrimination against hardworking gay and transgender Texans are core values — like opportunity and freedom. Glitter is not one of them.
Maybe the best part of the email was the attachment that links to a Daily Dot story on “what it’s actually like to open a glitter bomb,” complete with the video below of a man opening a spring-loaded tube full of glitter.