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Transgender veteran takes photo in bathroom to defy HB2

Published: Jun. 2, 2016 at 12:27 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2016 at 2:54 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte resident Janice Allison refuses to abide by the bathroom principles laid out in North Carolina's House Bill 2. A military veteran and transgender woman herself, she made her stance on the law clear at last week's Charlotte City Council meeting.

HB2 overturned a non-discrimination local ordinance passed by the Charlotte City Council to expand protections to the LGBT community, including a clause to allow people to choose the bathroom or locker room of their gender identification.

Allison was born a man, but identifies as a woman. To make a statement, she took a photo of herself in a female bathroom in the Charlotte Government Center, and then posted the photo to Facebook. She said her photo was meant to show that she will not follow the HB2 law.

"I wanted to show that I defied him. I wanted to show [Governor Pat McCrory] that I'm not going to comply," said Allison.

She said she has been using women's restrooms for nearly 40 years and has only had one other issue using a bathroom. She told WBTV that the recent HB2 conversations have made her mad and created an issue for the transgender community.

"We've been doing what we've been doing for many, many years and now all the sudden it's wrong," explained Allison.

Allison said she has always identified as transgender, but didn't show it in public until she was an adult. Decades ago, she fought in the Vietnam War. She said it was a time she wouldn't dare reveal her true gender identity.

"If I came out as me, as Janice, I wouldn't be standing here today I'm sure. I'd be hung up in a tree," Allison stated.

After her three years in the military, Allison said she moved to San Francisco where she began interacting with the city's LGBT community. Now decades later and living across the country, she is no longer fighting battles in Vietnam, but engaging in the political struggles that center around HB2 and the state of North Carolina.

"I don't want to be labeled a child molester or a sexual predator," explained Allison. "That's not me."

The transgender veteran is hoping lawmakers will repeal House Bill 2 and allow transgender individuals to use the bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity. She said she wrote McCrory a letter requesting a sit-down conversation about HB2, and has not received a response yet.

A representative from the Governor's Office told WBTV they had not yet located Allison's letter and would reserve comment until they had seen it. McCrory has previously addressed the bathroom provision of HB2 in the public forum multiple times.

"Everyone's privacy is at risk," McCrory told WBTV in a previous interview. "Using a restroom facility or a locker-room is a very private matter and I think everyone is at risk regarding their own individual privacy."

Allison said she will continue to use women's restrooms no matter what the law states, and she said law enforcement officers are welcome to arrest her in a public bathroom.

"I refuse to use the men's room. I will use the ladies room," said a defiant Allison.

Allison said she has spoken about HB2 at Charlotte City Council meetings in the past and will continue to do so as long as the law is on the books.

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