Letter writer: New law takes 300 steps backward

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Hello. I am currently attending Odyssey Community School as a 10th-grader. Starting at this school when I was in sixth grade has made me grow up here.

During my time here, I have been surrounded by many individuals [who are] a part of the LGBT community. When I first encountered the new HB2 law that was recently passed in North Carolina, I was absolutely horrified.

Although this law does not directly affect me, it does affect my peers. The idea that people can discriminate [because] of who they are in the workforce is appalling. This means that many of my friends could be jobless in a couple of years because of their sexuality.

Beyond this concern, we have the matter of public restrooms. This law isn’t bringing on safety to those in fear of another; this law is putting out there the idea that what is typed on a document decides the future of millions. People who have one gender on their birth certificate but identify as something else is individuality; however, the state of North Carolina has taken that individuality away.

I am growing up in a place that says it’s 2016 but has the thought process of the 1860s. Last year in America, we granted same-sex marriage in all 50 states [and] was one step forward. This new law is taking 300 steps backward with many discriminatory points in people’s lives.

I ask that everyone who is directly affected and not directly affected use their voice and speak up, because until we do, we will live in the world with many technological advances but an ignorant society.

— Rhianna
10th-grade student
Odyssey Community School

Editor’s note: Xpress usually does not publish letters to the editor without the writer’s full name. We decided to make an exception in this case and with other letters from students about this issue because of the writers’ ages and to foster discussion of the topic.

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