Mt. Vernon, OH

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My name is James and I am a 73 year old retired business owner.  I lived in northern Virginia for twenty years and operated a software consulting company that managed several large contracts for the U.S. government.  My company once had a contract with the F.A.A. for redoing their air traffic control databases.  I identify as a Republican/Libertarian, voted for Trump, and am the father of a transgender man.


When my son was growing up, I was unaware of any of the struggles he was dealing with until after he left high school.  He was always extremely intelligent, charming, and hard working.  When he finally confided in me that he was a transgender man, my first concern was for his safety.  I can’t say I completely understood what it meant to be transgender at the time since I had very limited exposure to the LGBT community.  But, just because I didn’t understand didn’t mean that I loved him any less. I wanted him to be happy, so, along with most of my family, I supported his decision to transition and live his life as the man he’s always known himself to be.  I don’t know what it’s like to be transgender, but that doesn’t mean people who are should live in fear of being fired, denied housing, or refused access to public services simply for being themselves.


I voted for Trump because I thought he was a Republican who would support the LGBT community, but his anti-trans legislation has thoroughly disappointed me. While I live in Ohio now, I support non-discrimination bills in housing, employment, and public accommodations in Virginia because I have seen first-hand how a lack of these protections negatively impacts my son.  I’m worried that without these protections in place, day-to-day life for him could be dangerous and unsafe.  Having a transgender son has opened my eyes, and I just want him to be able to live his life. This isn’t about politics.  It’s about family and how we as people, and Americans, treat one another.