Catherine Hyde, the Transgender Network Coordinator for PFLAG Howard County and a mom of a 17-year-old, is planning to testify at the House Committee hearing on HB 235, the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act.
Catherine's support of this bill was recently announced by Equality Maryland which is persisting in championing this bill despite opposition by all Maryland transgender groups, local advocates and national outrage.
Never in my wildest dreams had I ever thought I would write a letter opposing a PFLAG mother intending to testify at a legislative hearing, but today I find I must.
Catherine, You have been mislead by the very people whom you have trusted with your daughters very future, Equality Maryland.
The message you are prepared to deliver to the House committee in support of HB235 could ensure insure your very own child never has the legal right to use any of the places listed here:
§ 20-301. 2010 Maryland Code,
TITLE 20 - HUMAN RELATIONS,
Subtitle 3 - Discrimination in Places of Public Accommodation.
In this subtitle, "place of public accommodation" means:
(1) an inn, hotel, motel, or other establishment that provides lodging to transient guests;
(2) a restaurant, cafeteria, lunchroom, lunch counter, soda fountain, or other facility principally engaged in selling food or alcoholic beverages for consumption on or off the premises, including a facility located on the premises of a retail establishment or gasoline station;
(3) a motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium, or other place of exhibition or entertainment;
(4) a retail establishment that:
(i) is operated by a public or private entity; and
(ii) offers goods, services, entertainment, recreation, or transportation; and
(5) an establishment:
(i) 1. that is physically located within the premises of any other establishment covered by this subtitle; or
2. within the premises of which any other establishment covered by this subtitle is physically located; and
(ii) that holds itself out as serving patrons of the covered establishment.
But your testimony will have far worst consequences than apparent at first glance.
Catherine, your testimony will tell your daughter and all transgender children they are not considered human enough to share the same world with the human race. Think of it! Why else would a law be written that purposefully does not entitle them to be in such places?
That same question will be pounded into the minds of politicians and the public when and if amendments are brought forward. Given the opposition in Montgomery county just to the west of your house what do you think the chances of such amendment being successful? How many times do you think it will be debated? It boggles the mind.
Think of the damage you will be doing to your child's self esteem. As you know, especially for transgender youth, damaged self perception is the main reason for suicide. And what hurts a child the most is being told over and over they that they are less than and not worthy. Ask me I know.
I pray you will reconsider supporting HB235 and listen to us transgender people who are so against this bill without public accommodations. TransMaryland, Trans-United, and every transgender blogger nationwide has expressed dismay at the lack of public provisions in this bill.
Please listen to us Catherine. You are speaking as a mother of a child still in school from her experiences. The transgender community is speaking the words of wisdom earned from decades of experience.
Kelli Anne Busey