Bea LaPisto Kirtley is running for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors in the Rivanna District. Here’s her responses to our questions about LGBTQ issues. Don’t forget to vote June 11!
Q: Do you consider yourself to be an LGBTQ ally? Why/why not?
Absolutely. I am opposed to all forms of discrimination. A number of my closest friends are LGBTQ.
Q: As an elected official, what role will you play or push your elected body to play in promoting the safety and wellness of LGBTQ people who are parents, children, homeless, of color, disabled, tourists, new to the area?
It is the responsibility of elected officials to ensure that all of our citizens are treated equally and their safety and wellness is of paramount importance. If elected to the BOS, I would work towards the establishment of an ordinance in the Albemarle County Code similar to the one created by the City of Charlottesville – a Human Rights ordinance that states that the County will not discriminate or tolerate discrimination of individuals on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, national origin, age marital status or disability. Sex is explicitly defined as including, but not limited to, discrimination on the basis of gender identity, transgender status, or sexual orientation.
Q: Are you safe-space trained and, if not, are you willing to be and to push your fellow officials, staff, and partners to get trained, along with training in implicit bias and bystander training addressing race and gender issues that also affect members of the LGBTQ community?
Not yet but as a former educator, I believe that the way to breaking stereotypes and prejudices is through education and training. The more we learn, the more we understand, the more we relate and care. I have attended some of the Implicit Bias training and look forward to additional training – and would work to ensure the inclusion of my fellow officials and County staff.
Q: What else do you want the local LGBTQ community to know about you?