SIGN PETITION: South Carolinian trans advocate calls to meet with sponsor of anti-trans bill


Blair Durkee

Blair Durkee, a graduate student and transgender advocate in South Carolina, has called upon Senator Lee Bright, the sponsor of the anti-trans measure S. 1203, to meet with her to discuss the harmful effects of anti-LGBT legislation on the people they target. Her Change.org petition launched yesterday.

VIEW AND SIGN THE PETITION HERE

Senate Bill 1203 had attempted to ban municipalities from establishing protections that would allow transgender people to use bathrooms, ban any state building from allowing transgender people to access sex-designated restrooms, and ban schools from allowing transgender people to access sex-designated restrooms. S. 1203 was defeated after many, including local businesses, vocally opposed the bill, along with notable politicians such as Republican Governor Nikki Haley.

While S. 1203 was defeated, the anti-LGBT sentiment that helped to form that bill has not been. This is why Blair is calling on Senator Bright, who threatened to introduce a bill that would cut funding to local governments that do not discriminate against transgender people following the defeat of S. 1203, to meet with her and other transgender advocates.

Blair has asked to meet with Senator Bright before sine die adjournment on June 2, when the legislative session in South Carolina ends for the year. Blair hopes that by reaching out to Senator Bright, she can amplify the voices of transgender South Carolinians in the wake of S. 1203.

Blair writes, "In this vital election year, we cannot shift the conversation towards equality, fairness, and equal access if our decision-makers, statewide or nationwide, do not know who we are and what we stand for," calling for a meeting so that Senator Bright can understand the communities that he is harming through his discriminatory legislation.

She adds:

So, allow me to introduce myself to you, Senator Bright. I'm Blair, I'm a student at Clemson, and the attitudes behind S. 1203 hurt me and people like me. Bills like the one you've sponsored spread stereotypes and lies about who I am, and put me in danger.  In reaching out to you, I hope to amplify the voices of transgender South Carolinians, whom your bill sought to silence.

You can sign the petition to call on Senator Bright here.

Blair has spoken about transitioning as an undergradute student and appared in the mini documetnary, GLAAD Presents: State of Change - South Carolina. When the people around you do not respect your identity, she explains, "It's hard to have hope in the beginning."

GLAAD offers multiple resources for accurately covering bills such as S.1203 and LGBT Southerners. Check them out below: