Charlotte

Sterling, VA

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My name is Charlotte and I moved from Philadelphia to Virginia over a decade ago. I’m a mother of two, a hospice volunteer, and I work with a nonprofit in Manassas that works to end the sexual abuse of children through training and legislation. I’m also dedicated to advocating for nondiscrimination protections in housing and public employment for transgender people.

 

I really care about these protections because I want everyone to be happy and healthy. Transgender people should be able to live without limitation. Laws that protect transgender people show that they’re accepted and welcome in our towns and communities. This is so important, especially for trans kids. They should be able to grow up and know they’ll have a future wherever they live. Instead, they’re at risk of being victimized, discriminated against, or harming themselves because they aren’t accepted.

 

On a personal level, I’ve been speaking out publicly for a while now, specifically about public employment, because it includes teachers. Teaching is already a stressful job. Protecting transgender teachers from discrimination would give them a chance to do their jobs more easily and effectively because they wouldn’t have to work through the fear of being fired for being trans. Statewide protections support all of our current and future educators. I’ve attended school board meetings in my county every month for the last two years. I have heard students say that they want to be teachers, but feel like they can’t because they are LGBT. Without nondiscrimination policies, we are telling our kids that they can’t pursue their dreams. I’m willing to go to these monthly meetings until we make change in my county, but frankly we shouldn’t have to make this argument in each individual locality. All trans people across the state should have the same protections.