New ad with North Carolinians calls for repeal of HB 2

In a joint effort, Freedom for All Americans, American Unity Fund, and Equality North Carolina released a new ad that calls for the repeal of anti-LGBT North Carolina law, HB 2. Adding to the countless voices that have denounced the law since its introduction as a bill, this video highlights the absurd consequences and real harms of HB 2. The ad features transgender man Zeke Christopoulos and two of his colleagues, who express their concern about this discriminatory law.

As many others have before, Zeke and his colleagues point to the damage the state and its economy will face the longer HB 2 remains a law. Conventions and concerts have already been cancelled, and many people have expressed their concern that companies will no doubt take their business elsewhere if North Carolina continues to accept this discrimnatory law. The power of this ad, however, is not simply in its forecasting of economic damage, but also in its honesty about Zeke and his colleagues' stories.  

In the ad, Zeke's colleague, Patricia Hickling Beckman admits, "I remember when I learned that Zeke was transgender and had transitioned from female to male, and I was a little uncomfortable at first." However, she continues, "when you stop and think about it, everyone needs to use the bathroom just to get through the day. And a law that forces Zeke to use the women's restroom is totally inappropriate. And that's exactly what HB 2 does." Patricia was not alone in her discomfort with transgender people, especially in southern states. However, this discomfort stems from lack of awareness and exposure to transgender people, who are just like everyone else and have the right to use facilities that correspond to their gender identities. 

Matt McTighe, executive director of Freedom for All Americans, stated in a press release:

Many Americans don’t know a transgender person, and they don’t understand the harmful consequences of laws like HB 2...But these laws do have real impacts that go far beyond lost jobs and declining investments – they impact people like Zeke, every single day...If lawmakers took the time to talk with more transgender people and their loved ones, it would be crystal clear to them why HB 2 is so unnecessary and so devastating. We hope Zeke’s story will help lawmakers understand the urgency behind repealing this terrible law.

"HB 2 goes so far that when I use the men's room, I could be thrown in jail," states Zeke in the ad. This is followed by a chilling reminder from Zeke's other colleague, Chester A. Spier, who calls the law "unnecessary" and dicriminatory." He remarks, "It [HB 2] took away local protections for gay and transgender people and even protections based on race and gender." 

This new ad, made to highlight the urgency in repealing HB 2, is a reminder that not only is HB 2 harmful for LGBT North Carolinians who deserve better from their government, but to many others who are vulnerable to discrimination because of this law. HB 2 is an unnecessary law that normalizes discrimination, and it needs to be repealed immediately. Visit TransEquality to see what you can do to help.