Tracey

Virginia Beach, VA

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My name is Tracey. I enjoy performing stand-up comedy, and I’m on the board of directors at my church. I currently work for Geico, but I used to be an Army Musician. Fifteen years ago, after I moved to my last duty station in Virginia Beach, I transitioned to be the woman I am today. As you can see, being transgender is a part of who I am, but it isn’t the full picture. I have hobbies. I like to make people laugh. I’m invested in my faith community. I just also happen to be trans.

 

As a Christian, I believe God’s love is for all. I want everyone to feel loved and accepted, but that just isn’t the reality for transgender people right now. We’re a part of this world and this country, but we aren’t protected. In Virginia, you can still be fired or denied housing for being transgender. I know how terrible it feels to lose a job because you’re transitioning. That happened to me. I worked in a music store and the owners were pressured by customers who didn’t like that I was trans. I took some approved medical leave and when I returned, I didn’t have a job. I was hurt and felt very vulnerable.

 

Nondiscrimination protections in housing and public employment would mean safety for me and my community. Housing and employment are basic rights that are so closely linked. With no job, you have no money, with no money, you can’t afford to pay rent. Without a home, you have no way to protect yourself to ensure you could get up and go to work every day. Knowing that you could lose your job or the roof over your head just because by being who you are is no way to live. Constantly feeling vulnerable leads to people living in fear, becoming depressed, and worse. Knowing that we can’t be discriminated against for being trans really does protect us. This is more than just about a job or a house, it’s about loving your neighbor enough to keep them safe.