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A Trans Woman Is Liberating the State of Alaska

Lillian Lennon

Lillian Lennon is at the forefront of fundemental changes in her state, particularly around LGBTQ discrimination.  

Twenty-year-old Lillian Lennon first caught the activism bug when she started her hometown's first LGBTQ+ Pride organization.

"From then on, queer rights and advocacy became a central point in my life as I went on to help lead the Fair Anchorage Campaign in taking down the discriminatory Proposition 1 here in Anchorage, Alaska," she says.

Indeed, Lennon was instrumental in helping to stop the passing of the state's proposed bill that, if passed, would have forced transgender people to use public facilities that match the sex on their birth certificates. For the nine months preceding the bill's defeat, Lennon and her No on Prop 1 team hit the pavement and literally went door-to-door to talk with residents.

Lennon, a transgender woman herself, says she feels that the exhaustive grassroots method was definitely one of the reasons for their success.

"I've had a lot of positive interactions with people going door to door, even with people who haven't heard about Proposition 1 or aren't educated on transgender issues," Lennon told NBC Newsafter the bill's defeat.

"I was able to explain that I'm a transgender woman myself," she recalls of a particular woman who expressed concern over sharing a restroom with a trans woman. "If Proposition 1 were to pass, I would be forced to go into the men's restroom, and I'm scared of what that would mean for me, what that would mean for me and so many of my friends and loved ones.... I think it's hard to say to someone's face, 'No, I don't agree that you should have equal rights.'"

"It's a more human connection," she continued.

Lennon currently works for Planned Parenthood Votes, a super PAC (political action committee) branch of the organization, and also works with Fair Anchorage, Transgender Leadership Alaska, and Talkeetna Pride.

Beyond her passion for activism, Lennon has many creative interests, including filmmaking and illustration. Among the many things she plans on accomplishing in life, Lennon says she would like to "direct a motion picture" and "serve in an elected office."

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