Pippin Shoults, one of the lead field organizers for the Freedom For All Massachusetts campaign, isn’t a Bay State native, but has lived here for just about a year, having moved from North Carolina, where he’d lived for two years previously.
“Everyone just seems friendlier here’ he laughs. “It’s like there are almost no random strangers here because we all feel like we know each other.”
As part of the FFAM campaign, Pippin works to mobilize volunteers to assist in things like calling and canvassing voters to speak about why it is important to protect #TransLawMA at the ballot this November. For him, it’s important to be in the community and to be visible for others.
“I think of being in North Carolina and not being really out. I knew people who had been harassed, and being open about who you were was hard; people who were out were my role models, and it feels important to be that for others. Lots of people have never met a trans person or have certain ideas of what it means to be one.”
Having the current law in place makes it much easier for Pippin and other transgender people to participate fully in public life; if protections were to be repealed, Pippin says the results would be devastating.
“I was there for HB 2 in North Carolina [the law which regulated the bathrooms transgender people had access to], and it empowered our opponents to be even more cruel. As far as larger implications, there are already a lot of people who are scared or uncomfortable to come out, and a repeal of law would amplify that tenfold.”
“However, my experience here so far is that people are, for the most part, are accepting. So that’s what we have to keep holding onto.”