Four years after North Carolina faced
boycotts over House Bill 2, two transgender candidates are running
for office in the state.
North Carolina currently has four
openly gay members of the General Assembly but no transgender
According to the News &
Observer, Gray Ellis of Durham and Angela Bridgman of Wendell are
running for Senate seats in the state.
Both candidates are Democrats.
“I think it's right and it's time for
[transgender people] to have a seat at the table,” Ellis
told the outlet. “We're completely unrepresented.”
In 2016, North Carolina approved House
Bill 2, dubbed the “bathroom bill,” which, among other things,
prohibited transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice
in public buildings. Passage of the bill led to boycotts of the state
from not only LGBT activists but also corporations. Several states
blocked state workers from traveling to North Carolina unless it was
Danica Roem in 2017 became the first
openly transgender person to be elected to state office. Roem
defeated Bob Marshall, a Republican fixture in Virginia politics and
the author of the state's constitutional amendment limiting marriage
to heterosexual couples. Such state amendments and laws remain in
place despite the Supreme Court's 2015 declaration that gay and
lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry.
North Carolina voters in 2005 elected
the state's first openly lesbian state legislator, Julia Boseman.
“We've arrived as transgender people
when someone like Gray or myself can be elected, and it's no big
deal,” Bridgman told the News & Observer.