North Carolina's anti-trans bathroom law is ridiculous, and this interview proves it.

In March, North Carolina passed a no good, very bad, anti-transgender law — but you might know that already.

Essentially, it requires trans people to use whichever bathroom corresponds with the gender listed on their birth certificate, which creates all sorts of problems.


Here's North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. Photo by Davis Turner/Getty Images.

It came in direct response to a Charlotte ordinance about to be enacted that would have actually protected trans people.

But sadly, most of the news coverage about the Charlotte ordinance consisted of news anchors simply repeating the anti-trans talking points.

GIF from Media Matters for America/YouTube.

And while the state of North Carolina received some major backlash after passing the anti-trans law, most journalists continued to present it in a "Who's to say, really?" kind of way.

Well, that stopped last night, when Megyn Kelly of Fox News interviewed North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory.

Finally! Someone was ready to directly address these issues. Kelly came away looking like a pro, while Gov. McCrory left flustered, clinging to his talking points about tradition and expectations of privacy.

Here are a couple of the highlights:

On the idea that allowing trans people to use the correct bathroom will somehow be a violation of privacy:

GIFs from Mediaite/YouTube.

McCrory deflected.

On debunking the idea that transgender people are somehow more likely to be sexual criminals:

McCrory's response here? To deny the existence of trans people, saying that he doesn't "use that term." As we all know, if you don't say something aloud, it doesn't exist, right?!

Throughout this and other interviews, McCrory has said that his concern isn't about transgender people, but about "men" sneaking into women's restrooms and claiming they're transgender as an excuse (which, for the record, has never happened in any of the 17 states and more than 200 cities across the country that have trans-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances).

Good for Kelly for not letting him skate by on the usual talking points.

There was one thing Gov. McCrory was right about: This isn't an issue he started.

Anti-trans individuals have been murmuring about this for years. States and cities have tried and, at times, succeeded in passing laws designed to deny transgender people their basic human rights (everybody poops, right?). It's only in the spotlight of increased visibility — which, as this situation highlights, is a double-edged sword — that states have made this a national issue, painting trans people as sexual deviants and a danger to children.

We know what it looks like when trans people aren't allowed to use the correct bathroom, and it'd seem to be the opposite of what McCrory and other anti-trans individuals say they want.

Watching Kelly run circles around McCrory seems to indicate that just maybe this whole thing wasn't thought through.

Well done, Megyn Kelly. Well done.

GIF from "Citizen Kane."

Watch Megyn Kelly's epic interview with North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory below.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Photo by Tod Perry

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