Last week, 35 Minnesota legislators published a letter in support of North Carolina, Governor McCrory, and the recent private bathroom protection bill, referred to as HB2. In the letter, the supporters say, “The recent protests from our state and others in response to North Carolina’s private bathroom protection bill are unfortunate. These views do not represent our views, nor those of the vast majority of Minnesotans.” And further, “We hope to implement similar protections in Minnesota and recently introduced legislation to that end. We applaud your efforts to protect the privacy and safety of all, especially our children.”
I would like to go on record as a Minnesota citizen, taxpayer, and partner in a small MN business as vehemently disagreeing with these local legislators. I believe that passing a similar bill in Minnesota is dangerous, unnecessary, and anti-Minnesotan.
We are a values-based company and this law encroaches on these values. We don’t need or want any outside person or institution governing our space, our employees, and our guests. Our values should dictate how we operate our business, not some law.
Whatever discomfort or issues you have with your fellow humans who are trans are your problem, not ours. We talk about social issues openly and organizationally, which means we address the feelings, concerns, ideas, and personal stories that come out of “atypical” situations and we are stronger for it. I understand that this approach to running a business and embracing diversity is not ‘traditional’. But it is essential to our vision for our future. We want to evolve as an organization that embraces the beauty and brilliance of our ever-changing culture so that we can create products for all of the people that need them and use them.
We’re not perfect. When a colleague at Clockwork transitioned about a year and a half ago, one of the first things I said was, “Everyone will make mistakes as you go public with this at work. You, me, and well-intentioned co-workers.” And we did. But then about a year later, another colleague revealed her own journey of gender transition and I think we got better at it. Still not perfect, but better. And this is how people with all different identities and beliefs should move through change: Centered around shared values that put human experience and people first.
Minnesota isn’t full of hate. Hate isn’t a value espoused by any of our religions or cultures, and yet the legislators claim the vast majority of Minnesota agrees with hateful legislation. I want to show them otherwise. I want all of us to show them otherwise.
Don’t tell us where or how the best and the brightest of our people get to use the restroom. Let us prove that we’re all in this together and we welcome the best and the brightest — however they choose to show up.