In an open letter published on The Washington Post, film maker and writer Jennifer Williams, a life-long Republican who’s also a transgender individual, criticises her party for not fighting hard enough for her rights.
Williams, who’s married to her wife of 16 years and has two children, shares that she became a Republican as growing up in the 80s, she was inspired by Ronald Reagan and the ideas of ‘American exceptionalism, a strong military, limited government and free enterprise.’
She revealed that she voted and campaigned against President Obama in 2008 and 2012, as she didn’t, and still doesn’t, agree with most of the things the president stands for.
Though, Williams acknowledges that as an LGBT American, she’s better off with Obama as president. ‘It’s hard for me to write those words, but it’s true,’ she wrote.
She then goes on to lambaste Republican representatives such as Iowa Congressman Steve King and Kansas Senator Steve Fitzgerald, for their ignorance and their opposition on trans-friendly laws.
Williams realises that being a minority in the GOP means that her voice may not get heard.
‘I want my party to practice genuine tolerance. But as long as some Republicans are willing to treat me as someone who doesn’t deserve full equality, our party is lost.’
She continues, ‘And now I’m also fighting for survival. As long as Republican pundits and officeholders are willing to make transgender Americans scapegoats for unfounded fears about what might happen in public restrooms — giving bigots license to harm us — our families can’t ever feel like we’re safe.
‘I feel like I have to be more vigilant than ever to protect myself, my wife and my kids, and I’m an adult who’s spent decades engaged in public debate. It’s hard to imagine what it must be like for a school-age kid to be transgender in the current climate.’
Williams also slams the Republicans’ ‘war on the transgender community’ with reference to North Carolina’s HB2 and Mississippi’s HB1523.
‘While they’re making a big show of being tough on me, a working mom raising a family, they’re stigmatising and debasing a vulnerable community.’
Williams urges GOP governors and legislators ‘to get a grip’ and ‘remember that we’re supposed to be about making sure every American has equal opportunity.’
‘I realise not everyone is going to embrace me and I’m not asking for special treatment,’ she writes at the end of the letter. ‘But Republicans should recognise that those of us in the transgender community are voters. We’re citizens. We’re people.’
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