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How This Openly Gay Student Body President Helped Foster LGBT Inclusion at Notre Dame Bryan Ricketts • Notre Dame
As Election Day Nears, Hoosier Voters Who Support LGBT Equality Are Feeling The Urgency in This Year’s Vote November 2, 2016

With less than a week until Election Day, the reality of how important this year’s election is for LGBT equality is setting for many Hoosiers. It’s at the top of everyone’s mind that this year’s vote could determine whether or not Indiana keeps moving forward on LGBT rights—or falls more and more behind.

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Danielle Summer Pitmon is a transgender woman living in Indianapolis. She’s voting this year for one simple reason: As a transgender woman, her rights are—indirectly—on the ballot:

danielle-pitmon“As a transgender [woman] who is also legally blind voting is important to me because I am able to make a difference in local state and federal policies and laws and to be able to protect my rights and by participating and voting I am also participating in my community as a responsible citizen and as a homeowner.”

Amy Myhre is also a transgender woman, and feels very strongly about voting this year for a couple reasons. Not just because her rights are at stake, but also because, she says, it’s her and everyone else’s civic duty to vote. Not just for themselves, but in solidarity with all marginalized people:

amymyhre“Voting is important to me for a few reasons. The first is that democracy simply doesn’t *work* if people don’t vote, and I’m not so keen on letting it slip away. But the second, and more important, reason is that by voting, I can help to ensure that there are candidates in office who will help advance the cause of equal rights for all. By voting, I can help to work for the betterment of society. By voting, I can help ensure a better future, not just for myself, but for every single person who’s ever been fired because he married his husband; for every single person who’s ever been told that their non-binary gender identity isn’t ‘real’ and that they have to pick one or the other; for every single person who’s been kicked out of the ladies’ room because her ID has an M on it. By voting, I can change the world—not necessarily the whole world, but enough of it.”

Other voters also specifically mentioned that their vote this year is about what they want for Indiana’s future. Carissa Dollar is an ally and a parent whose teens identify on the LGBT spectrum. Ultimately, she said, her vote this year is for them and the kind of world they will live in:

carissa“My vote helps move us towards a future where I don’t have to fear for my children’s safety based on who they love or how they identify. My vote is my promise as an ally and a mother that I will never stand silent until all Hoosiers have the same freedoms and protections under the law.”

If you have questions about early voting, voting on Election Day, or have experienced a barrier to voting because of your gender identity, check out our Voting While Transgender guide.

You can also click here look up your polling place if you decide to vote in person on Nov. 8.