Meet Thomas Lewis, a transgender student at a public high school in South Dakota. Last week, the South Dakota legislature passed what will be our nation’s first anti-trans law if the Governor signs it. He started a petition Protect Trans Students: Veto H.B. 1008 and need’s your signature to help to make sure that this legislation doesn’t become law.
From the petition….
This law – H.B. 1008 – prevents public school students from using restrooms consistent with their gender identity. If made into law, transgender students like me across the state could be forced to use a separate bathroom from everyone else. Worse, we will be forced into bathrooms that don’t correspond to our gender identities, which is not only stigmatizing, it could be dangerous too.
Please call on Governor Dennis Daugaard to veto this terrible bill.
Being a kid is hard enough. We don’t need lawmakers to make it even harder. South Dakota lawmakers are sending a message that it’s okay to segregate, humiliate, and bully transgender students like me.
No student should be made to feel fearful or anxious about which bathroom to use simply because of who they are. This bill opens the door to ridicule and public insult by our peers when, really, lawmakers should be focusing on passing legislation where every student can be free to be open about who they are in a welcoming and harassment-free environment.
Join me to demand that Governor Daugaard rejects this dangerous legislation.
Governor Daugaard recently said that he has never met a transgender person and that he doesn’t plan to consult with the trans community before making a decision. My teachers have told me many times that before you judge someone you should walk a mile in their shoes. Well, before the Governor signs this awful bill that limits my rights, I think he should walk a few miles in my shoes.
This bill won’t just harm me and my South Dakotan peers. There are similar bills in other states, and this targeted discrimination could become standard across the country. Even if you don’t live in South Dakota, you need to sign this petition to send a strong message to all of our leaders: We won’t tolerate laws that protect bigotry and hatred at the expense of students’ well-being.
As a transgender student and advocate, I feel the need to speak up for those who cannot. On behalf of the transgender students who will suffer if H.B. 1008 becomes law, thank you for taking action.