Video: Mother of Transgender Teen Speaks Out Against North Carolina’s HB 2By Megan Clayton • March 25, 2016 • 2:20 pm
On Wednesday, March 23, the North Carolina General Assembly pushed through the shameful and dangerous House Bill 2, which bars municipalities from enacting local ordinances that protect LGBT North Carolinians from discrimination and codifies anti-transgender policies into state law.
While public comment was limited due to the speed with which legislators took action, introducing the bill and signing it into law less than 12 hours later, one woman who did speak up was Deborah Thomson, whose son Skye is transgender. Deborah testified about interacting with Skye’s school, and how she felt his education was compromised because he was forced to use a bathroom that didn’t match his gender identity. She spoke about children who purposely dehydrate themselves so that they don’t have to deal with the stress and the shame of using the bathroom during the school day.
“This debate is about more than just bathrooms,” she testified, “This debate is about whether the state cares about my son’s health and safety.” Statistics about the number of trans youth who are bullied, sexually harassed, and who attempt suicide because they feel so ostracized—and the fact of Skye’s own experiences with bullying—“scare me to my core as a parent.”
Watch her moving testimony:
The bill was rushed through the legislature in less than 12 hours—introduced at 10:00am and signed into law by 9:00pm, with two committee votes and votes before both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly in between. This quick turnover meant opponents had limited opportunities to speak against the bill before the legislature.
That’s why Freedom for All Americans is asking people like Deborah from across North Carolina and from all over the country to share their stories with us—and tell us why anti-LGBT legislation, including HB2, hurts. Read more stories here and share your own.