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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory caused a splash last week when he went on the political attack against gubernatorial opponent Roy Cooper. The bait? Transgender students and their use of restrooms.

Cooper didn’t bite. He stood his ground, told McCrory he wouldn’t meddle in students’ lives, and had his campaign call out McCrory’s actions for exactly what they were: an attack on kids.

“Last week, Gov. McCrory was raising money off people fleeing terror but skipped out on an important security briefing. This week, he’s found another group to politicize,” Cooper spokesperson Jamal Little said in a statement. “Adolescence is hard enough without being bullied by an elected official. Next week, who knows who’ll be the target of a governor whose only path to re-election is dividing North Carolina.”

And even in small-town North Carolina, trans kids are finding new allies.

The daily paper in Rockingham, N.C., a small town of about 9,000 in the state’s southern Piedmont, is standing up against the governor’s bullying.

The editorial board of the Richmond County Daily Journal wrote an editorial entitled “McCrory sides with busybodies on transgender bathroom ban” on Nov. 27:

 What’s so conservative about big-government bathroom bans?

We sure wish Gov. Pat McCrory would explain it to us. Only a nanny state bent on meddling in our private lives, after all, could produce such petty tyranny.

[…]

McCrory’s argument remains ideologically inconsistent.

Government overreach is bad whether it comes from Capitol Hill or City Hall. Local elected officials can trample personal freedom just as easily as the feds. And that’s exactly what’s happening in Virginia.

[…]

Grimm isn’t asking for favoritism or special treatment.

“All I want to do is be a normal child and use the restroom in peace,” Grimm said.

Grimm wants the government to leave him alone. That’s something true defenders of liberty should understand.

Instead, McCrory is spending taxpayer money to support busybody bathroom bouncers.

Since the defeat of LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinances in Houston, LGBT advocates have been fraught by questions on how best to move forward and guarantee full inclusion for our community, especially our trans siblings. The answer is simple, and the Rockingham paper’s editorial is a good example — the editorial directors there clearly saw the student in question as a full person, guaranteed dignity and equality.

When we’re able to share our trans siblings’ full stories, introduce them to their cisgender neighbors and allow them the space and resources to shape their own narratives to the broader public, we’ll see better changes. From small towns like Rockingham to big global cities like Houston, this movement is inevitable. How fast we get there, though, will depend on how quickly our LGBT leaders and advocacy organizations adopt these new strategies.

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