Williamsburg, VA

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My name is Simon, I’m a college professor, and I’m the father of a transgender daughter. She socially transitioned in first grade, which began a year-long journey for my partner, the school, and me to figure out how to best support our daughter. We were fortunate the administration was dedicated to her success. After some initial challenges, we were able to develop a gender support program that has followed her into middle school.


As a professor, my passion is teaching. I’ve found it only takes a moment to change someone’s perspective. As a father, I want to help create a community that will be supportive of my child. Learning is the first step to doing better and being more inclusive, and I’m doing what I can to move that process along.


Because my daughter is twelve years old, she has not experienced discrimination in housing or employment. I hope she never has a chance to experience it. We have had concerns around public accommodations when she was younger at the local pool and in her dance class. In both situations we wanted to ensure her gender was respected and she was not singled out. With the local pool, we had to go through a series of compromises and policy changes that were not initially as accommodating as we would have hoped. In the dance class, once the teacher became aware of our daughter’s transition, she took the onus of changing her perspective and treating our daughter like the rest of the girls in the class. While both situations ultimately ended well, it was so much easier for all of us when we were not put in the position to ask for equal treatment. I would love to be able to guarantee that my daughter can expect equal treatment wherever she is.


State-wide nondiscrimination policies would help to ensure that she can continue to safely be herself. Not only that, but it would be incredibly meaningful for my family and demonstrate that the state cares about the future of our child. We have felt on the defensive for many years, and we have actually considered moving to another more friendly state because the current lack of inclusive policies here made us feel unwelcome. New policies would allow our family to stay in Virginia and give my daughter options for her future. Since her transition, we have taken extra care to ensure she feels safe and respected. I support nondiscrimination policies in housing, employment, and public accommodations so that she can feel this way into adulthood.