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Elijah Palles

Elijah has called Arizona home for nearly his entire life and is passionate about the need to enact nondiscrimination legislation there and across the country to protect LGBTQ people. He is gay and transgender, and living with HIV — all factors that make him more vulnerable to discrimination. He has struggled with being treated unfairly in the workplace, in housing,, at public businesses, and as he seeks to access health care.

Minimizing the structural inequalities that allow this discrimination to take place is a priority for Elijah both because it is the right thing to do and because it will have a profound personal impact. Shortly after starting his transition, Elijah was reprimanded and fired from his job at an animal shelter for no longer having a feminine voice. Years later, he and his partner were refused an apartment when his renter discovered he is transgender.

Elijah is now a therapist working with transgender and nonbinary youth, and is grateful that the world is changing. But he knows more needs to be done to help LGBTQ people and people living with HIV until no one fears being their full authentic selves.

Read More Stories By:  Freedom for All Americans

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