A few days ago, a friend of mine told me that a legislator was introducing a nondiscrimination bill in New Hampshire. Ed Butler was involved in the last attempt to get a trans-inclusive nondiscrimination bill in New Hampshire, back in 2009. At that time, I was still closeted, and from the closet all I could do was watch from the sidelines as Republican opponents to the bill dubbed it a “Bathroom Bill” and convinced the relevant Senate subcommittee to unanimously vote it “Inexpedient to Legislate”. I can tell you that to me, at the time, it felt like a kick in the teeth from my fellow Granite Staters. It helped delay my own transition. When I finally did transition, I had to assemble a host of legal decisions to make it clear that I was probably protected, legally. If this law had been in place, it would have been certain that I was legally protected. I could simply have pointed to it.
This new bill is going to include all public accommodations, including locker rooms and bathrooms, thereby avoiding the mistake they made in Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, in order to get an LGBt bill, they gave up locker rooms and bathrooms for trans people; LGB people were protected everywhere, but t people were protected everywhere except locker rooms and bathrooms. That necessitated a separate and harder fight for full inclusion in Massachusetts, a fight which is going on right now. Massachusetts finally passed a bill including bathrooms and locker rooms, but opponents have succeeded in collecting enough signatures to force a repeal of the new law onto the ballot as a ballot measure. So, we’ll see what happens in 2018.
New Hampshire now has the opportunity to do better.
So, I put Ed’s name into Google, together with “NH”, and came up with his official state house page, which had his e-mail on it. Then I sent him an e-mail. I asked him if it was true that he was sponsoring a nondiscrimination bill. I identified myself as a trans woman. He replied, asking if I was the same person featured in in this news article.
I replied, told him that I was, and told him that I was a decent public speaker and had been doing educational speaking. He asked if he could pass my information along to the folks at Freedom NH.
I told him he could.
We’ll see what happens.
So, today’s ATIP: network with people, find out what’s in the planning stages, and contact the people involved with information on what skills or resources you can bring to the effort.
 This is an example of how language changes. Republicans used to dub these bills “bathroom bills”, in an apparent effort to trivialize them, or evoke unpleasant imagery. And it worked. Just seven years later, when Republicans pass asinine fear-fodder like HB 2 in North Carolina, we do the same thing to them. The presumption is swinging, even in the Deep South.