May 17th, The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, is a worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversities. The date was chosen in honor of the World Health Organization’s decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental health disorder in 1990.
Reflecting on the past year as it pertains to the LGBTQ community, it’s hard not to think about bathrooms. Several states have proposed bathroom bills, which would make it illegal for transgender individuals to use a bathroom that does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. North Carolina passed such a bill, HB2, in 2016, but it was overturned in March 2017.
A few months ago, two colleagues and I attended the NTEN Conference in DC- it was awesome! After registering and getting our name tags, we decided to explore a bit. One of the first things we noticed were the gender neutral restrooms. That’s right- both men and women used the same bathrooms for 4 days without any discomfort or issues.
While there, I met a staff member of ACLU of North Carolina (an organization too small for us to rate at this time), who told me about their tireless efforts to end the discrimination they find is tied to this legislation. While the HB2 bill was overturned ACLU of North Carolina’s work is not done. They’ve stated, “The bill does repeal HB2, but it just replaces it with prohibitions on local government entities (including cities, towns, schools) from extending legal protections to LGBT people until 2020 and bans on protections for transgender individuals in restrooms and other single-sex spaces forever.”
If you’re looking to support charities addressing issues like HB2, establishing equal rights, and providing education for the LGBTQ community, start your research with these 4-star charities: