Dec 2, 2020
A New Day for Queer People in the South
Allison Scott has waited years for this day to come. This day, specifically. Scott’s job is advocating for LGBTQ rights in the South, and for four years, her home state of North Carolina has prohibited towns and cities from passing new protections for queer people. Today, that ban is finally dead—and North Carolina has an opportunity to change the reputation it earned in the 2016 fight over H.B. 2, the so-called bathroom bill.
Scott, the director of policy and programs at the Asheville-based Campaign for Southern Equality, believes that, despite its eventual repeal and replacement, H.B. 2 encouraged homophobia and transphobia in North Carolina and across the country. The bill passed just a few months after Scott came out as a transgender woman. “H.B. 2 was definitely not the start of hate or discrimination,” she told me. “But it did seem to symbolically kick off a national movement around really hurtful laws, or rolling back protections.”