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Debra Hopkins and the Business of North Carolina


Our community has been in a righteous uproar since North Carolina passed its notorious House Bill 2 (HB2) in late March. One of the North Carolina’s strongest voices in the fight against this sweeping anti-LGB (and specifically) T legislation has been Rev. Debra J. Hopkins, a Black trans woman serving her community as a minister at Sacred Souls Community Church in Charlotte, NC, the very city whose city ordinance to protect LGBT people in public spaces spurred the NC state Senate to pass HB2 in protest.

Rev. Hopkins appeared before at a hearing held for the Charlotte non-discrimination ordinance. Rev. Hopkins abandoned her notes to speak for the very short allotment of time given and still delivered a brief yet powerful plea for North Carolinians to come together for the cause of equality for all of its citizens. See her comments on video here.

Serena Worthington, Director of National Field Initiatives at (SAGE) Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders, sat with Rev. Hopkins for a brief interview. When Worthington asked Rev. Hopkins about her delivery style, she replied:

Whether I’m behind the pulpit, out in the community or speaking to state representatives or community members, I try to tell my story in a relatable way. I do this because the best story that I can share with anybody is mine own, my story and my journey.

Rev. Hopkins also spoke to her own feelings around the Charlotte ordinance and why statewide LGBT protections are vital:

As a Black trans woman, the Charlotte ordinance gave me protection and the freedom of knowing that I have the right to enter the same spaces and go to the same things as every law abiding citizen in the state of North Carolina. Many of us are very law abiding citizens. We pay our taxes, we try and get an education, some of us are making major contributions in our communities, some of us are teachers, lawyers, doctors, etc. Protections like the Charlotte ordinance give us a sense of peace. We want to be able to travel, to be able to go somewhere and relax without the fear of looking over our shoulder or experiencing harassment. We want the peace of mind and the security necessary to be full citizens of the state of North Carolina.

Debra Hopkins calls on us as activists and community members to continue to push back against this and other discriminatory legislature with these words:

We have to be persistent, be consistent and we must be extremely patient—we must press forward no matter how long it takes to achieve our goals.

Read more of Worthington’s interview with Rev. Hopkins on the Huffington Post.

Rev. Hopkins shows up prominently in this rally footage compiled by NowThis and also appears in this 20 minute video compilation of Moral Monday resistance to HB2.

Of course, Rev. Hopkins is not the only member of the Transfaith Community showing up to work against HB2 in North Carolina. Among others...


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