The following statement was released by Charlotte Pride Board of Directors President Clark Simon following Raleigh politicians’ introduction of HB755 on Tuesday, May 24:
Charlotte Pride condemns any efforts which make our schools or communities unsafe for LGBTQ young people, parents, teachers, and school staff. North Carolina’s copycat of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law would ban discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill would also endanger transgender and gender-nonconforming youth by requiring schools to forcibly out transgender youth to their parents.
This legislation, if passed, would drastically and negatively impact the ability of young people to realize their full potential in a safe and welcoming learning environment. Legislators should focus their attention on making schools safer and fostering environments where the most vulnerable of our youth can thrive and succeed. LGBTQ young people are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. This legislation will make this reality worse, not better.
North Carolina deserves steady, inclusive governance focused on solutions. Legislation like this harkens back to Raleigh’s last anti-LGBTQ discrimination bill, HB2, in 2016. It will backfire.
Charlotte Pride sends this message to our LGBTQ young people, families, teachers, and school staff: We see you. We hear you. We love you. We will stand by you and we will do everything we can to make your life better and whole. Don’t ever be ashamed to “say gay” — or trans!
Matt Comer, firstname.lastname@example.org