Governor Dennis Daugaard

Tell South Dakota Governor Daugaard to veto the attack on trans kids

Last week, South Dakota’s state legislature passed a bill that would ban trans students from using gender appropriate bathrooms and locker rooms. This is the first “bathroom bill” to pass, and if signed into law would set a terrifying precedent. There is currently a wave of anti-trans legislation in 16 states, the worst year ever for these bills.

More immediately, this is clear bullying of trans young people in South Dakota by state legislators, who have even proposed genital checks to keep trans kids out of bathrooms, which I hope we can all agree is transparently evil child abuse. A man has already insisted he has the right to use the women’s locker room because of these protections, harassing women in the name of defending them. And conservative trolls are suggesting this strategy be used more broadly. So much harassment to supposedly protect women from totally fabricated harassment.

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard originally declined to meet with trans students, said he had never met a trans person and that he didn’t need to in order to act on the bill. After all, it’s a bill based on completely made up stereotypes of trans women as men in dresses preying on helpless ladies; why would the governor need real trans people when Hollywood has offered him plenty of inhuman caricatures played by men in dresses and told us that’s representation? However, in what seems like a clear result of public outcry, Daugaard’s office declared this original plan a “mixup” and today he will meet with trans students.

These young people need our help to make this bullying stop at the governor’s desk. And frankly, the outcry over this terrifying bill has not been of the scale that it needs to be, sadly unsurprising for an attack on trans people. South Dakota’s young people need all of us to keep making noise about this terrible bill, and so do trans people in 15 other states who are facing attacks.

You can email Governor Daugaard or call him at (605) 773-3212 and tell him to veto HB 1008. The National Center for Transgender Equality has more ways to take action here. And of course, you can keep amplifying this important issue on social media and make it clear in your circles that you support the right of trans people to use the damn bathroom in peace.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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