I am a transgender woman who moved to North Carolina in 2014. I moved here to finally live out my life in peace, as the woman I finally have become...in a place where nobody knew my past. Then HB-2 had to happen. And I could not stay silent.
I gave up the precious anonymity I had in order to fight this thing...for the students of today. You see, in 1998, I was denied a college education over the stupid restroom issue. FIVE DAYS after Matt Shepard was KILLED for being gay on college campus, I was told I could only use men's restrooms on campus. They basically wanted to make ME the next Matt Shepard!
I did the one and only thing I could...I dropped out - choosing my personal safety over pursuit of higher education...and my life has been made "less than" ever since. Less than it could have been, anyway. Things have worked out fairly okay...but for every one of me for whom things work out okay...but greatly diminished...there are thousands of others for whom it does not.
The suicide rate for trans people is ten times that the national average...and it has EVERYTHING to do with the horrible treatment we are accorded by an unfeeling, uncaring society. I did not want the students of today...to have to make the same horrible choice I did back in 1998...and for that, I gave up everything I had hoped to build here. All because our legislators can't mind their own business...and feel like they gave a right to demand a peek up MY SKIRT....and they have the nerve to insinuate that I am some kind of perv?
They say that this is a choice. The only choice I made...was the choice to live as the woman I always WAS....or die by my own hand as the man everyone THOUGHT I was. And I chose to LIVE. That was the only choice I made. I did the one and only thing that could give me internal peace, and thus any chance at happiness! For that I am hated, I am disparaged, I am discriminated against and I am treated like garbage!
It would seem that some would truly prefer me DEAD than happy...because the one and only thing that could give me any chance at happiness...makes them just a tad uncomfortable. What this tells me is that, for these people...their "comfort" is nore important to them...THAN MY LIFE!!
What does this say about them?
With no trial...I was accused and convicted by my own state legislature...along with every other transgender citizen of this state...of being a pedophile, predator or pervert. Incredible. So now...when I go to the bathroom...I am ASSUMED to be there for nefarous purposes...treated as a de-facto criminal...and assumed to be guilty till I can prove myself inocent...and that is not how America is supposed to work.