10:30 PM MDT on June 25 found me standing barefoot in the kitchen, yelling at a livestream. I could barely hear what was happening, and laid my head directly onto the speakers occasionally to attempt to make out what was being said. I paced back and forth near the laptop; I sipped my water repeatedly in a nervous habit. At some point near 10:45, the tension became too high. I switched to red wine.
I was one of the 150,000+ individuals watching the livestream from the Texas State Legislature. I’d been following throughout the day somewhat lackadaisically on Twitter as State Senator Wendy Davis singlehandedly spoke for over eleven hours in order to stop the passing of a bill called Senate Bill 5. I watched, rapt, as the president pro tempore silenced her for daring to mention abortion laws in a filibuster about abortion. I gasped audibly when Senator Leticia Van de Putte asked for clarification of the rules of as she had been at her own father’s funeral all day. I Googled “Parliamentary Inquiry.” I booed. I made fart noises at the screen. I tweeted. I swore. I cringed.
When the “unruly mob” of orange-shirted Texans in the gallery burst into cheers at Senator Van de Putte’s correct observation that her voice did not appear to be as important to the president as those of her male colleagues, I cheered, too.
Why was I yelling at that livestream, anyway? I don’t live in Texas. I am not a Democrat. I had never even heard of Wendy Davis before. What could have driven me to keep my whole family awake by chanting, “Go! Go! Go! Go!” and watching the clock like a hawk?