We See You. We Respect You. We Welcome You.
This past Wednesday, on the International Transgender Day of Visibility, a member of our team needed to complete a routine task at the Department of Motor Vehicles. He followed the proper guidelines and interacted respectfully with the individuals involved in meeting his needs. In response, he was harassed, discriminated against, and publicly humiliated by DMV staff on the basis of his gender identity. By the end of the interaction, he was stripped of his legal gender marker and issued a government ID that conflicts with the both his birth certificate and the Social Security Administration's legal record of his gender. This is legal in our team member's state of residence, as the laws there deny the existence of non-binary transgender individuals, rendering them powerless and invisible in situations such as these.
We don't share this story for sympathy or to incite anger. We share it because we want you to know that we understand intimately what it's like to enter a business with an ordinary request, not knowing whether you will be respected or dehumanized. And we want to tell you that you will never have to face that uncertainty with us.
"We're here to teach you music - no matter who or where you are." We really do mean it. We will treat you with respect and dignity regardless of your gender identity or expression, your sexual orientation, the color of your skin, your ethnic identity or background, your national origin, the language you speak, your age, your ability, socioeconomic, marital, or military status, your religious or spiritual beliefs, the size or shape of your body, or any other part of you that makes you who you are. It's that simple. We see you. We value you. We welcome you. We do not tolerate hate or bigotry and we stand with you. To our current students, it's an honor to be a part of your musical journey. To those of you we haven't met yet, we hope to one day have the privilege of teaching and learning from you.
With respect and in solidarity,
---the team at Fractal