As Monday’s federal hearing on House Bill 2 ended, Tami Fitzgerald, head of the North Carolina Values Coalition and an ardent advocate of the law, said she thought the judge had good questions for attorneys arguing opposite sides of the issue.
Fitzgerald echoed what advocates of the law have said, that it’s a “common-sense” law geared toward public safety. That’s when she was approached by a woman
in front of the federal courthouse.
Lily Carollo, a 24-year-old woman who has had sex reassignment surgery but not yet changed her New York birth certificate to reflect that, calmly asked Fitzgerald what she should do in a state where the law prohibits her from using women’s restrooms and changing rooms in government-owned facilities.
Carollo plans to enter graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill this fall.
Fitzgerald told Carollo that she should get her birth certificate changed and that there are ways to do that.
Carollo said she has checked into that and been told that it could take three months to have her birth certificate changed.
“What’s one supposed to do?” Carollo asked.
Fitzgerald repeated that Carollo should have her birth certificate changed. Until that was done, Fitzgerald said, Carollo should use the facilities that correspond with her birth certificate, which says she is male.
Carollo thanked Fitzgerald for taking the time to answer her question, and the two parted ways.
Afterward, Carollo said she wasn’t angry. She said she
tries to educate others and share her story.
She made the trip to Winston-Salem from the Triangle on Monday searching for answers and a greater understanding of the genesis of HB2.
“I’m glad I came,” Carollo said.