The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana’s Transgender Education and Advocacy Program is organizing an “Ask Me Anything” event starting at noon Wednesday on Facebook Live, featuring advocates Lo Ray and Michelle Young.
The event comes just days before Transgender Day of Visibility, which is set for Saturday.
Kit Malone, transgender advocate and educator with ACLU of Indiana, said an online format was chosen after a series of panel discussion throughout the state.“We want to respond to any question, given the time, that is not overtly bigoted or devaluing,” Malone said. She said a topic questioners frequently have raised in the past relates to gender-affirming medical treatment.
“There are a lot of … myths or fear around that, and people don’t really understand what the process looks like,” she said. “Since most people know it’s sort of just rude to ask their friend about it, I think they often come to events like this hoping to get answers about that.”
Indiana remains one of only five states without a hate crimes law after a proposal died in the Senate this year. The measure would have allowed judges to stiffen sentences for those convicted of crimes of bias, including against transgender people. Some social conservatives opposed the measure because they felt it would give special recognition under the law to a class of people.
“I think it was sort of emblematic for a lot of people, especially when we saw that gender identity was the sticking point to getting it passed,” said Malone. “It made it clear that that’s really is where our state is, and we’re just fighting every day to push the needle forward on public opinion on that.”