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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 29, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 05
An open letter on anti-Trans bill SB 6443
Arts & Entertainment
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An open letter on anti-Trans bill SB 6443

Dear Senators Baumgartner and Braun:

I am a transgender voter in Washington, and I strongly encourage you to vote against SB 6443. My genitalia should not be a subject of public debate, scrutiny, or regulation. They do not determine my character, or my propensity for acts of violence, which is typically the specious argument made by advocates of these types of 'bathroom bills.'

I am not confused, and I don't lurk in dark corners of public restrooms to exact my deep inner turmoil upon children. Please demand data from anyone who tells you that transgender people are violent predators - there is none. When a society legislates from a place of frenzy and fear, it turns into a witch-hunt. That is how we arrived at things like Japanese internment camps. That is not what Washington stands for anymore, and that is not the legacy that your legislative careers deserve.

Our state enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the safest and most accommodating states for LGBTQ residents. I was proud to be able to brag to my friends around the country that I was able to change my name with relatively little personal expense or legal hassle. In fact, Washington applies the practice of Common Law to many such legal proceedings, which allows any person who has used a preferred name for a certain period of time to officially adopt that as their legal name. I think that reflects the ethos of our state - live and let live.

Do you remember the book Everybody Poops? Perhaps you have read it to your children. A silly and lighthearted example, yes, but what if everybody was not allowed to poop? What if you personally made other people not allowed to poop? I don't mean to be crass, but that's the reality many of your voters will live with if you pass this bill.

Many transgender people have endured extraordinary hardship in order to reach inner peace and live happily. Many have been estranged from their families, fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, or physically assaulted, and yet have chosen to continue living their truths. Those people simply are not going to devolve and be forced into a box or a bathroom they have grown out of. Are you really going to try to stop us from using the bathroom?

Sincerely,

Levi Pine

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