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I'll Go With You

This week's featured organization is "I'll Go With You", a campaign that enables any of us to be a friendly buddy for safer travel through gendered spaces.

#IllGoWithYou describes itself as an ally project - an opportunity for allies to step up and offer a friendly hand to members of the LGBT community.

Some background: After years of progress on LGBT rights and visibility, gender awareness and trans* rights have come to the forefront of the discussion. And, perhaps not surprisingly, there has been a backlash. In 2016, the North Carolina state legislature passed HB2, the "bathroom bill" that bars cities from enacting their own ordinances against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. And, yes, it also requires that persons using public restrooms only use the accommodations that correspond to the gender listed on their birth certificate.

North Carolina's Controversial Anti-LGBT Bill Explained [ABC News]

The backlash was swift and has cost the North Carolina economy millions of dollars to date. The NBA and NCAA have pulled major events from the state. Big name performers such as Bruce Springsteen have cancelled concerts there. And corporations such as PayPal, Deutsche Bank, and Braeburn Pharmaceuticals have pulled plan expansions that would have employed thousands of people.

Despite the negative impact of the law, the North Carolina state legislature failed to repeal HB2 during a session in the last week of 2016:

Repeal Of North Carolina's HB2 Law Fails As Legislature Adjourns Special Session [NPR]

And Texas, Alabama, Virginia and other states have started the new year by introducing "bathroom bill" legislation of their own, ostensibly providing protection for women and children. Meanwhile, members of the trans community are increasingly the targets of violence.

Unerased Archives This Year's Record Hate Violence Against the Trans Community [Out]

Now more than ever, the trans people around you need your support. You can call your legislators, donate, vote, but there is also a simple gesture that can make all the difference for a trans person who ... just wants to go to the bathroom.

That's where #IllGoWithYou comes in. They make and sell these cool buttons with the colors of the "Transgender Pride" flag. Wear one and you instantly identify yourself as an ally, and as someone who will accompany a trans person to the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

Head on over to their web site to learn more, buy some buttons, and take The I’ll Go With You Pledge:

www.illgowithyou.org