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I didn’t feel safe Kit Malone • Indianapolis

Kit Malone has lived in Indiana her entire life. She grew up here. She went to college here. She went on to become a high school teacher here. “I love this state,” she said, “I love the people who live in it. I think it’s a great place to live.”

Unfortunately, because she is a transgender woman, in most of Indiana Kit could be fired simply for being who she is. She could be kicked out of an apartment or refused service at a business.

Until recently, Kit worked as a teacher in a rural school. “The students needed talented educators, and I loved my job,” Kit said. She added that both students and staff liked her. So, why would she leave?

“I feared for my safety and my future Kit4should my status as a transgender person be discovered by my employer,” Kit said.

Kit knew she had no legal protections and while the vast majority of people treated her with respect and kindness, she did face harassment at the hands of a very few co-workers and community members.

“I didn’t feel safe. My partner didn’t feel safe,” she said, adding, “Nobody should have to make that choice.”

Our lawmakers have an opportunity to update our existing civil rights laws to include protections for gay and transgender Hoosiers.

Kit says, “It’s time for them to act.”

“Many transgender people find themselves thrust into the shadows. Isolated. Living in fear of what would happen to us should our status be known by our employers – or our neighbors,” she said.

“Providing these common sense civil protections would allow so many of us to come out of the shadows and make the contributions that we know we are capable of making,” Kit added.

But Kit is quick to point out that there is currently no protection in Indiana law for gay and transgender people. “That makes me wonder if Indiana will ever be a safe place for me to live. That makes me sad, because this state has always been my home,” Kit said.

“I hope people will join me in telling their lawmakers that Hoosier hospitality isn’t an empty catch phrase,” Kit said.

“I’ve lived my entire life here, and I want to be here for the rest of it,” she said.

We want Kit to be here, too. And we want all Hoosiers to be protected from discrimination.

Take a moment right now and contact your lawmakers and let them know you support updating our laws to protect LGBT people from discrimination.