For many of the hundreds of LGBT activists demonstrating outside the U.S. Supreme Court during arguments in major cases on gay and transgender rights, the story being told inside about plaintiffs Gerald Bostock and Aimee Stephens sounded all too familiar.

Bostock is a former county child welfare services coordinator in Georgia who was fired after joining a gay-friendly softball league. Stephens is a transgender woman who was fired as a funeral director in Michigan after revealing plans to transition from male to female.

As the nine justices on Tuesday weighed whether a landmark federal law that bars employment discrimination on the basis of sex should apply to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, the protesters outside explained why they need protection.