Gender-neutral model, transgender man speak out against HB2; call for full repeal
Posted April 19, 2016 6:18 p.m. EDT
Updated April 19, 2016 7:02 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Rain Dove has built her career by breaking the gender mold. The model, who turned heads at New York's Fashion Week, identifies as gender neutral, often posing for similar photos in both masculine and feminine attire, with dramatically different results.
Dove and several other models traveled to North Carolina this week to speak to business owners, politicians and activists groups about HB2.
Dozens of municipalities, political leaders and musicians already have voiced opposition to HB2, which requires people to use public bathrooms that correspond to their birth gender, excludes gay and transgender people from protections against employment and public accommodations discrimination and blocks cities and counties from extending such protections to them.
"I heard about HB2, and I read up about it, and it was so concerning that I actually put my career on hold and flew out here immediately from London," Dove said.
She and Dezjorn Gauthier, a transgender man, are calling for a full repeal of the controversial law. Gauthier, under the new law, must now use the women's restroom.
"If I were to go into a women's room, I feel that I would make women feel very uncomfortable," Gauthier said. "Then, for myself, I would feel unsafe walking out and possibly having someone's boyfriend, or brother or another male figure outside questioning why a male was inside."
Steven Noble, host of the radio program Called 2 Action Today, believes the new law is designed to protect women and children from predators, not to discriminate.
"There are sexual predators that would absolutely dress up as a member of the opposite sex just to gain access to the bathroom, so what about that," he said.
Noble said he while he disagrees with the opinions of Dove and Gauthier, he wishes more supporters would show compassion to the transgender community.
"If you do anything legislatively to open the door a little bit more for a sexual predator to take advantage of it, for me as a father and as a Christian, no way! I have to oppose that even though there are going to be hurt feelings in the transgender community," Noble said.
Dove believes HB2 is illegal and called the bill "unenforceable" because under state law, police cannot demand identification unless they are "reasonably certain" a crime has been committed.