On Tuesday, Oct. 24th, hundreds of people gathered in Billings for the 14th annual Friends of the Family gala event sponsored by the Montana Family Foundation. This year’s keynote speaker was Kaeley Triller Haver from Seattle who gave a powerful testimony and a wake-up call.
In an emotional speech that had both men and women discreetly wiping tears from their eyes, Triller Haver began by describing her early childhood and the fact that she was sexually abused by an adult family member from the time she was in diapers until she was 10 years old. It left her emotionally scarred and led to self-destructive behavior that went through high school and on into college.
Then, as a single mom of two, who finally escaped an abusive relationship, life seemed to make a turn. She found herself growing in the Lord and working in a prominent role in one of the largest YMCA networks in the nation. Then one day, her life came crashing down once again through no fault of her own. It was the day that her supervisor came to her with a file folder that contained a new policy that Kaeley was assigned to implement; in fact, it was more than simple implementation. She was told she needed to figure out a way to message the new policy that would make it acceptable to the Y’s membership. She took the file home, began to read and felt her blood run cold. All the memories of her past abuse flooded her mind. It was as though she was reliving the nightmare of her childhood. In essence, the board of directors had decided to allow transgenders to use the locker rooms of their choice, and it was her job to sell it as a good idea.
Given the fact that the vast majority of transgenders never actually complete a surgical sex change, she was being asked to promote as perfectly normal the idea of allowing fully functioning physical men into locker rooms and shower rooms with women and small children. She couldn’t do it. She wouldn’t do it. What her boss didn’t know is that because of her past, Kaeley had taken upon herself to keep sexual predators out of the locker rooms. She constantly compared the Y’s membership list to the list of convicted sex offenders and consistently found at least one offender per week trying to gain access to the Y’s facilities. One week she found three, and one of those wasn’t even a full member. He just purchased a monthly shower pass. Under the new policy, Kaeley knew it would be impossible to keep these predators out of the women’s locker rooms. All they had to do was say they identified as a woman and they were in, no questions asked.
When Kaeley refused to implement the policy, she was given two options: One, she could sign a non-disclosure agreement and receive a severance package; or two, she could be fired on the spot. Refusing to be silenced, she chose the latter. She’d been a silent victim for most of her life, and she was wouldn’t be muzzled any longer.
Shortly thereafter, she wrote a piece for the Federalist Magazine entitled “A Rape Survivor Speaks Out About Transgender Bathrooms,” and it turned out to be their most widely-read article of the year. This is why we support the Montana Locker Room Privacy Act. It’s about protecting the privacy, safety and dignity of anyone using a public locker room. For more information or to sign the petition, go to lockerroomprivacy.com