Loudon, VA

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My name is Amber. I’m a 28-year-old quality assurance associate, I enjoy playing table top and video games, and I’m a trans woman. I started coming out in 2016 and I recently celebrated the anniversary of my name change. I’ve been publicly advocating for trans equality since August of this year and I’ve spoken at Loudoun County School Board meetings a few times since then. I’m particularly passionate about expanding nondiscrimination policies.

As I mentioned before, I’m a quality assurance associate, but I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to apply to be a teacher where I live, but since there are no protections for people like me, I had to choose a career outside of my field. I grew up with educators and I know the impact they can have. I wanted very much to be a part of that. I also wanted to be able to be that support for the kid who’s like me. There is so much a kid can gain from seeing someone like them. It helps them to feel safe and connected. As much as I am willing to speak to my local school board in the hopes that they will make these changes for our county, public employment opportunities should be available to everyone. We shouldn’t have to work on each individual county for fairness. It should just be standard.

I recognize that I’m fortunate in a lot of ways: the people I currently rent from are family friends, my current job is supportive, and nobody has been overtly hurtful or hateful towards me. This isn’t the case for all trans people, and it doesn’t mean that I will always be so fortunate. With state level protections, I wouldn’t have to worry about looking for a new home, job, or place to go out with friends, because I wouldn’t be limited. I would be able to know that wherever I went, I could expect a basic level of respect. With these protections, I would be able to be comfortable being 100% me.