I Have A Story
All hardworking people, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), should be treated fairly and equally by the laws of our state. They should have the opportunity to earn a living, rent an apartment or buy a house, and access goods and services available to the general public. However, this is not the case in Virginia.
Every day in our state, LGBT people experience discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations. Updating non-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity will help ensure that all people in our state, including LGBT people, have equal opportunities.
If you have experienced or witnessed discrimination in the workplace, housing, or public accommodations, please let us know. Your voice is important and lawmakers need to hear your story. Tell It.Share Your Story
Equality Virginia is Working to Make That Happen. But We Need Your Help.
Personal testimony clearly illustrates the struggles, frustrations, and heart of those who’ve suffered discrimination. Telling stories lays the foundation for empathy and understanding, and reveals the common values we share as people. Our allies, our opposition, and most importantly, our lawmakers need your hear about your experience in order for significant change to happen.
If you or someone you know has experienced discrimination in the workplace, housing, or public accommodations because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, we ask that you share that story with us. With your voice, we can encourage lawmakers to update non-discrimination laws in Virginia.
Types of Discrimination
Workplace – a steady, livable wage is integral to a family’s financial stability, economic mobility, and the ability to secure basic necessities to live and thrive. Yet in Virginia, LGBT workers lack enumerated protections and experience unacceptably high levels of discrimination in the workplace. Widespread discrimination undermines the opportunity of LGBT workers to earn a living and to provide for themselves and their families. Employment discrimination against LGBT people occurs in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, promotions, and pay.
Housing – the location where one lives affects a number of well-being and stability indicators, from access to quality schools to economic opportunities. The role of housing on a person’s well-being is so critical that a recent New England Journal of Medicine article argued that housing is health care. Unfortunately, in Virginia, it is legal to deny LGBT individuals housing solely because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity. Housing discrimination takes many forms, from a landlord verbally harassing tenants because of their sexual orientation or gender identity to a realtor outright refusing to sell a home to a same-sex couple.
Public accommodations—or places that offer goods or services to the general public—are the businesses, facilities, and spaces where American life prospers. It is in these public marketplaces that families gain the necessities to live and thrive, from food to clothing to temporary shelter. Unfortunately, in Virginia, LGBT people lack basic protections from discrimination in public accommodations. This license to discriminate exposes LGBT individuals and their families to unacceptable instances of discrimination when attempting to access their communities’ goods and services. Public accommodations discrimination against LGBT people occurs in all aspects of America’s economy, from retail to medicine to hotels.