I go to Odyssey Community School as an eighth-grade student. At our school, we are a very accepting community, and there are many people who are openly part of the LGBT+ community, myself included.
Last June, the [Supreme Court] allowed gay and lesbian people to be legally married in every state … but on March 24, 2016, less than a year later, the HB2 law was passed. The government granted the freedom of marriage to everyone and then nine months later decided to take away the protection and freedom of the LGBT community.
The primary reason of creating this law, or at least the one that we were told, was to protect people from rape, sexual assault and harassment, which are things that should be prevented. However, keeping people from going in the bathroom that they feel fits their gender, because their genitalia doesn’t match the one written on the door is not the way to do it.
The HB2 law doesn’t only prevent transgender or genderqueer people from using the bathroom that they feel fits, it also enforces discrimination and bullying. This law states that it is now legal to discriminate against LGBT+ people for no reason other than their sexual or gender orientation.
The law doesn’t only affect LGBT [people], but also breaks down the laws of unfair discrimination against other minorities as well. It is now legal to fire or not hire someone based on their gender, sexuality, race, color, national origin, biological sex and handicap.
North Carolina moved forward in our acceptance when we legalized gay marriage, but now we are plummeting back into discriminatory ways. We cannot let the government fall back into bad habits. We cannot let them get by with inequality. We need to inform people and get everyone involved. We need to fight back. We need equality, and if we stand together, we will get it.
— Concerned eighth-grade student
Odyssey Community School
Editor’s note: Xpress typically does not publish unsigned letters to the editors. However, we decided to make an exception because of the writer’s age and in the interest of fostering the community discussion around the topic.