Senator Lee Bright: meet transgender South Carolinians
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My name is Blair Durkee and I'm a South Carolinian trans woman, born and raised in Greenville, earning my graduate degree in Computer Science from Clemson University. I am one of many transgender Americans who is harmfully targeted by anti-LGBT legislation like the discriminatory S. 1203.
S. 1203 sought to prevent schools and municipalities from allowing trans people like me from using sex-designated bathrooms. While the bill, thankfully, was defeated, the anti-trans animus behind it is still very much alive. This is true of one of my state's elected officials, state Senator Lee Bright, who sponsored and supported S. 1203, and for the many like him across the country who have supported the more than one hundred discriminatory anti-LGBT bills that have been introduced this year, alone.
Right after S. 1203 was defeated, Senator Bright threatened to introduce a new bill that would deny funding to local governments that don't discriminate against trans people. Enough is enough.
The falsehoods and stereotypes at the heart of bills like S. 1203 show a deep misunderstanding of who trans people are and what it means to be transgender.
That's why I'm asking Senator Bright, as the sponsor of S. 1203, to meet with me and several of my fellow transgender South Carolinians in person before sine die adjournment on June 2, when the legislative session ends in our state for the year. I look forward to you hearing our stories in order to learn about our experiences, our identities, and our needs as constituents in the Palmetto State.
In this vital election year, we cannot shift the conversation towards equality, fairness, and equal access if our decision-makers, statewide or nationwide, do not know who we are and what we stand for.
So, allow me to introduce myself to you, Senator Bright. I'm Blair, I'm a student at Clemson, and the attitudes behind S. 1203 hurt me and people like me. Bills like the one you've sponsored spread stereotypes and lies about who I am, and put me in danger. In reaching out to you, I hope to amplify the voices of transgender South Carolinians, whom your bill sought to silence.
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