North Dakota’s workforce shortage. Affordable childcare. Education funding. Rural health care.
That’s what our legislators should be focusing on in Bismarck.
Yet issues that matter most to North Dakotans don’t seem to be a priority. Some of our legislators instead are focused on a slate of hate and would rather attack the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit community and erode their rights with bills that stoke fear and hatred amid discriminatory rhetoric.
It’s hard to even keep track of all the awful legislation we’ve seen this year to silence, bully, and even flat-out deny the existence of LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit people – especially transgender youth.
Legislators are trying to prevent kids from getting age-appropriate gender-affirming medical care and prohibit teachers and school officials from using a student’s preferred pronouns. They’re trying to ban transgender women and girls from competing on the sports teams that match their gender identity and trying to stop people obtaining birth certificates that accurately reflect their identity. They’re even trying to prohibit trans students from using communal facilities, like school bathrooms and locker rooms, that match their gender identity.
These blatantly anti-LGBTQ+ and Two Sprit bills fly in the face of long-standing and repeated recommendations of educators, doctors, and mental health professionals. This is a deliberate effort to stop our LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit friends and neighbors from being able to live their lives in peace and with the privacy and dignity we all deserve.
We all need to stand up, speak up, and protect the rights of transgender and LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit North Dakotans.
Will you join us in Bismarck for the LGBTQ+ Lobby Day on March 21? We’ll be attending committee hearings and floor sessions and meeting with legislators to provide LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit visibility.
If you can’t make it to Bismarck, keep reading on how you can show solidarity in your community, no matter where you are in North Dakota.
Everyone at the Capitol event will be wearing stickers that don an image of the state of North Dakota covered in Rainbow to send the message that North Dakota is home to the LGBTQ+ community. Download this PDF and print your own stickers on Avery (or compatible) Label # 5395 and wear to work, school, or community gatherings that day.
More ideas for engaging your community:
- Distribute stickers at your school and wear them in solidarity.
- Organize a group to discuss LGBTQ+ issues at your school.
- Get a group together during a free period, study hall, or after school and write letters to legislators.
If you're looking guidance in your community, contact Cody Schuler by emailing email@example.com.
To all the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit North Dakotans, especially to the kids and teens who are being targeted yet again, you are not alone. We are with you. You are valued, you are supported, and you are loved for being exactly who you are.