Robyn Ayres has lived and worked in Grant County, Indiana for the past 14 years. She is a teacher and adviser at a community college in Marion.
As a transgender woman and a lesbian, Robyn is speaking up to support an update to Indiana law to protect gay and transgender Hoosiers from discrimination.
Currently, while many municipalities have established local non-discrimination ordinances, Robyn knows she – and other LGBT people – aren’t protected from discrimination in most of the state.
“I very much appreciate what those towns have done; it’s great,” said Robyn.
“At the same time, it’s a little strange, I can drive a short distance to Muncie, where there are non-discrimination protections, but when I turn around and drive back home, I’m not protected anymore,” Robyn said.
Like a majority of Hoosiers, Robyn feels it’s time to update Indiana law to protect everyone from discrimination in every part of our state.
While Robyn is confident she won’t be fired from her job for being transgender, she knows other transgender friends in the community who haven’t been so lucky.
“These protections are for everyone,” she said.
Robyn said she looks forward to continue talking to friends, neighbors and her elected officials about why this update is important.
Even if people are opposed to the update, Robyn says she’s glad to explain why she supports it and thinks it’s so important for the future of our state.
She looks forward to meeting with her lawmakers and explaining to them why she and other LGBT Hoosiers care deeply about being protected from discrimination.
“It’s a very important issue to me and lots of other people,” she said.
In addition to her work with community college students, Robyn also volunteers with several non-profits, including one that offers support for LGBT youth.
“This update is very important for young LGBT people, too,” she said. “What message does it send to our young people if our state won’t protect you from discrimination?” Robyn asked.
Robyn gives back to her community and she says she feels respected and appreciated by her colleagues and neighbors.
“People know me,” she said, “people know that being transgender doesn’t change who I am as a person.”
She also pointed out that the law doesn’t match the values she sees from her community.
“People value diversity, but the law doesn’t reflect that. We should all be protected from discrimination in our workplaces, our homes and our communities,” she said.
“LGBT people are sometimes pushed aside,” Robyn said, “and it would be very meaningful to be recognized not as second class citizens, to finally have the protections that others have.”SHARE THIS STORY