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Six North Carolinians Lobbied in Washington, DC in support of Transgender Equality

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Six North Carolinians joined hundreds of transgender activists and allies from nearly 40 states and territories earlier this month in Washington, DC for Trans Lobby Day. Hosted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, the two-day event equipped participants with skills and information to advocate for policies to preserve rights and protections for nearly 1.5 million trans people in our country. Transgender Lobby Day took place on June 8-9 in Washington, DC. More information is available at www.transequality.org/TransLobbyDay. Prior to heading over to the Hill to meet with Congressional staff, the North Carolina and Texas delegations stood together for this photograph in honor of the work transgender people have undertaken in both states to fight similarly discriminatory legislation aimed at setting back the progress of transgender people, particularly trans students.

While at Transgender Lobby Day, participants heard from speakers, experts and political officials to help them battle anti-trans bills at the state and federal levels, before meeting with their elected officials. While on Capitol Hill, the North Carolina delegation spoke to staff from Senator Burr and Senator Tillis about healthcare reform, and to staff from Representative Price and Representative Rouzer about the Ending Racial Profiling Act (ERPA), with Representative Price ultimately signing on as a co-sponsor of ERPA. Representative Price is already a cosponsor of the Equality Act, which was also the focus of the constituent lobbying effort.

According to the North Carolina State Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, transgender North Carolinians are twice as likely to be living in poverty than the general population, and three times as likely to be unemployed. Almost one-third of North Carolina respondents reported job discrimination in the previous year, and one-fifth reported experiencing a problem with their health insurance related to being transgender. Over half of the North Carolina respondents reported some form of mistreatment from police or other law enforcement officers in the previous year. Constituent lobbying remains a powerful way for transgender people to take action toward holding our elected officials accountable for these daily realities.

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