He said normally North Carolina offers moderate legislation.
“HB2 is the exact opposite of that,” Plowman said. “It’s one of the most stringent policies in the country.”
Megan Bailey, a Raleigh local, said it’s mind-boggling to her that HB2 was not repealed.
“(Transgender people) already fought a battle to try to come out into society, and now they’re facing this other battle, where they can literally go to jail,” she said.
Bailey said she hopes HKonJ and other marches can inspire others to take action. Even in her circles, Bailey said she is really the only person who reaches out.
“A lot of people just want to live their lives, and I understand that,” she said. “I work like a 60-hour week, but you’ve got to try to find the time to stand up for what’s right.”
Sarah Bolen is a UNC alum who recently relocated from Washington D.C. to Durham. The repeal of House Bill 2 is long overdue, Bolen said.
“The state of North Carolina has been getting hammered for (HB2),” Bolen said. “They should have repealed that the last session, and the fact that they didn’t is an embarrassment.”
State legislators have debated the bill’s repeal since its passage in March of 2016 — and many hoped it would be repealed during the legislature’s special sessions in December. House and Senate Democrats proposed new bills to repeal the legislation on Thursday.
Terri Brinton of Cary wielded a sign reading “NCGA are you listening?! 2018 is calling!” She said the election in two years inspired her because all North Carolina senators and about one hundred House representatives will be up for election.
“They need to listen to the people,” she said. “That’s what this is all about. It’s about many issues coming together, and we need to be heard.”
While many marchers brandished signs in opposition to President Donald Trump’s administration, the state government received significant attention.
Nate Fischer, a UNC sophomore, attended the march with his family, who came down from Boone.
“I really wanted to get involved, so I came here because I wanted to make a very public statement against the really hateful legislation we’ve been seeing at the state level, and obviously on the national level, as well,” Fischer said.
Bolen, whose sign read “Trump sucks worse than Duke,” said though she does not consider herself to be extremely left on the political spectrum, there are so many causes that need to be addressed — including gerrymandering and Trump’s border wall.
“Well, we need to light a fire under the left,” Bolen said. “The right had a fire lit under it when Obama was in power, and we just need the opposite to happen.”