It has come to my attention that the state of Tennessee has recently passed two (2) incredibly hateful bills targeted at the transgender community. The first bill would open schools up to civil liability if they allowed transgender students to use the restroom of their gender identity. The second, incredibly cruel bill, would require businesses to post signs stating “This facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom.” if they allow transgender customers to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity. This bill puts transgender americans, business owners, and patrons of businesses which serve LGBTQ+ customers at risk of targeted harm. Unfortunately, both bills have been signed into law by Governor Bill Lee.

I would hope at this point, it is not necessary for me to say that I vehemently oppose these bills with every fiber of my being, nor is that the purpose of making this statement. I am making this statement, flabbergasted and at a loss for words that we allowed this to happen. As somebody who used to take regular vacations to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, I can state with certainty that I will not put another cent into the state of TN while these bills are on the books. I have also personally reached out to Dolly Parton and Dollywood with pleas that they use their voice, platform, and business to attempt to effect change within the state regarding this matter. However, I am not making this statement to outline what I have done or what I intend to do, I am making it to ask for help and support.

Tourism is a huge industry for TN, reaching a record high in 2019 of around $23 billion. The only way to show a state like TN that hate and discrimination will not be tolerated is to hit them where it hurts: their finances. I request that beginning today, people who do not wish to contribute to the harassment, humiliation, embarrassment, ostracization, and death of transgender folks to cease putting any more of your hard earned money into the state of TN, and to reconsider any travel or tourism plans to the state. I request that your efforts be made known, using the hashtag “#BoycottTennessee” on Twitter and other forms of social media. I also hope that if you live within TN and/or otherwise have no choice about spending money within the state, effort is taken to spend every penny wisely and not allow a cent to fall into the hands of hateful people.

My transgender siblings, you are all a part of my extended wolf pack. My heart goes out to you, my claws and my fangs will be bore to protect you, and I hope my howl is loud enough to encourage others to do the same.

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STATEMENT REGARDING TENNESSEE's 2021 ANTI-TRANSGENDER LEGISLATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

05/19/2021

It has come to my attention that the state of Tennessee has recently passed two (2) incredibly hateful bills targeted at the transgender community. The first bill would open schools up to civil liability if they allowed transgender students to use the restroom of their gender identity. The second, incredibly cruel bill, would require businesses to post signs stating “This facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom.” if they allow transgender customers to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity. This bill puts transgender americans, business owners, and patrons of businesses which serve LGBTQ+ customers at risk of targeted harm. Unfortunately, both bills have been signed into law by Governor Bill Lee.

I would hope at this point, it is not necessary for me to say that I vehemently oppose these bills with every fiber of my being, nor is that the purpose of making this statement. I am making this statement, flabbergasted and at a loss for words that we allowed this to happen. As somebody who used to take regular vacations to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, I can state with certainty that I will not put another cent into the state of TN while these bills are on the books. I have also personally reached out to Dolly Parton and Dollywood with pleas that they use their voice, platform, and business to attempt to effect change within the state regarding this matter. However, I am not making this statement to outline what I have done or what I intend to do, I am making it to ask for help and support.

Tourism is a huge industry for TN, reaching a record high in 2019 of around $23 billion. The only way to show a state like TN that hate and discrimination will not be tolerated is to hit them where it hurts: their finances. I request that beginning today, people who do not wish to contribute to the harassment, humiliation, embarrassment, ostracization, and death of transgender folks to cease putting any more of your hard earned money into the state of TN, and to reconsider any travel or tourism plans to the state. I request that your efforts be made known, using the hashtag “#BoycottTennessee” on Twitter and other forms of social media. I also hope that if you live within TN and/or otherwise have no choice about spending money within the state, effort is taken to spend every penny wisely and not allow a cent to fall into the hands of hateful people.

My transgender siblings, you are all a part of my extended wolf pack. My heart goes out to you, my claws and my fangs will be bore to protect you, and I hope my howl is loud enough to encourage others to do the same.

Naia Shiro Okami
05/19/2021
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Re: Anti-Transgender Legislation in Tennessee
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