Trans rights activists oppose wave of anti-trans bills

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 8:01 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Lawmakers could pass as many as a dozen anti-trans bills by the end of April. So, Tuesday, trans rights activists rallied at the Capitol to push back on what they believe is hurtful legislation.

Here’s the thrust behind the anti-LGBTQ bills brought by lawmakers: “transgender people should use the bathroom that aligns with their sex at birth,” “trans girls should play sports with boys,” and “children shouldn’t be allowed to attend drag shows.” Tuesday, trans people and allies from around the state came to the Capitol to let lawmakers know they’re not okay with being the target of so much legislation.

Trans rights advocates gathered at the Capitol Tuesday so their voices could be heard.

“We can help educate any misconceptions they might have of trans people and it’s important for them to see the faces of the people they’re actively trying to oppress,” said Audin Rhodes of Minot.

One such advocate is Caedmon Marx, who has testified repeatedly on anti-LGBTQ legislation.

“That affirmation is a big key into the survival rate into transgender youth and people in general because their rates of suicide and death are so high it’s not even funny,” said Caedmon Marx, outreach coordinator for Dakota Outright.

Some of the bills aim to ban trans girls from girls’ bathrooms.

“When the private space of a K-12 bathroom is violated by an individual of the opposite biological sex, then there is an immediate abusive and threatening intrusion,” said Representative Scott Dyk, R-Williston.

Others want to ban trans girls from participating in female sports.

“We’ve heard, ‘follow the science.’ Well, when I grew up, there was nothing more basic in science than biology. And I think we know the difference between a man and a woman,” said Representative Ben Koppelman, R-West Fargo, on February 15th.

On these fronts and others, those who traveled to Bismarck on Tuesday hope to make a difference and change perceptions.

“It’s terrifying. I have friends in Minnesota who are urging me to leave because they know my rights as a trans, non-binary person are going to continue to get infringed upon and that things are going to continue to get harder for me,” said Audin.

None of the anti-trans bills have passed both chambers yet.