In April of 2018, the people of Anchorage will go to the polls to protect Anchorage’s non-discrimination law that ensures transgender people can’t be targeted for discrimination in public places. We know the people of Anchorage value fairness and equality, but we must keep fighting every day to make sure these rights are protected.
Here, we feature the stories of two transgender veterans who are doing just that—fighting to ensure that fairness is upheld.
After serving 8 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, MoHagani Magnetek was excited to see the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and in 2016, the ability for transgender people to serve openly in the military. However, in 2017, the new Trump administration implemented a ban on transgender service, and though it does not directly impact MoHagani, she is still frustrated and scared.
“I felt really good for my friends and my shipmates who are on active duty, and now I feel really horrible. People have jobs and families. This is their career, and this administration is talking about taking that away.”
MoHagani has turned her attention to Anchorage’s Proposition 1, which would remove protections for LGBT people in the city. MoHagani has had several unsettling experiences involving harassment, including being misgendered on public transportation and confronted in a ladies’ room. If Proposition 1 passed, that kind of discrimination would be legal.
She is speaking out because she hopes that increased visibility of transgender people will help make the case to Anchorage voters that LGBT protections are necessary for her city to be a welcoming and inclusive community.
Denise Sudbeck says that as a young person, she felt very alone and isolated. Before there was a lot of news or information about transgender people, Denise had no one to communicate with about how she was feeling or who she was, and felt unsafe even raising the issue.
Denise knows that now, under current Anchorage law, it is illegal to discriminate against LGBT people in public spaces. So she feels comfortable being herself and speaking out. She says that if Proposition 1 were to be passed and those protections removed, all her feelings of isolation would come rushing back—but she won’t stop speaking out.
Denise is ready to stand and fight against the passage of Proposition 1 in April 2018, and believes the community can mobilize to keep LGBT protections in the law.
“They are targeting our community because the perception is that we are the weakest link. What this attempt misses is that we are not alone. Many others will stand in solidarity with transgender people and that means everything.”
If you’re committed to keeping Anchorage fair by protecting veterans like MoHagani and Denise—and all of our transgender friends and neighbors—from discrimination, join our campaign against Proposition 1.