State legislature’s failure to treat transgenders equally is shameful
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State legislature’s failure to treat transgenders equally is shameful

The LGBTQ+ community is a group of individuals just like anyone else. However, they’re also a group of individuals who go through more than many others have to.

This community constantly faces discrimination that is both undeserved and unnecessary. The transgender community specifically has most recently been the target of discrimination by South Dakota state officials.

On Feb. 9, South Dakota state Senator David Omdahl gave a speech in support of a bill that would prevent transgender high school students from using restrooms and locker rooms of their identified gender.

“I’m sorry if you’re so twisted you don’t even know who you are,” Omdahl said, according to the Argus Leader.

The fact that he said this isn’t only inhuman, but it also isn’t even politically correct.

Omdahl thinks students are “twisted” for not knowing who they are. Well, frankly, most high school students don’t know this at all.

High school is the time where students are figuring themselves out, learning more about who they are and who they want to become.

Just because a student is transgender doesn’t make them unclear of who they truly are. In fact, the actuality is if a student has defined their proper gender, this shows they are one step closer to finding themselves.

They are confident and brave people, doing what they know is right for them regardless of the many obstacles they know they’ll have to face.

Omdahl needs to realize this, as do other conservatives who agree with him.

Along with this, during Omdahl’s speech, he kept touching on the fact that his reasoning for supporting the bill was to “protect the kids.”

Yet, he is essentially only favoring one group of kids over the other. He’s favoring students who have kept their same gender since birth over those who haven’t.

“Being prejudice against transgender people is like being prejudice against other races. People need to get over it,” said first-year Rebecca Vaca.

We live in a country that has worked so hard to break down barriers, whether it be social or racial, but yet it’s people like Omdahl who keep bringing those barriers back up again.

“I don’t agree with Omdahl. People should be able to identify themselves as who they are and use whatever bathrooms they want. The senator can’t relate to what they’re going through or their struggles,” said sophomore Brittany Cruz.

The senator has no experience with this. He doesn’t know what it’s like. And frankly, no one in this world deserves to be ashamed of who they are — especially those who haven’t even reached the age of 18 yet. Attacking them is simply absurd.

I’d like to think of what Omdahl’s reaction would be if his children or grandchildren were transgender? What would he say then, and would he even be in support of this bill knowing that those he loves would be suffering? Would he not be able to acknowledge who they really were? My guess is things would be different.

While I understand South Dakota is a conservative state and I have to live here and listen to what the politicians vote on, it doesn’t mean I’ll support it.

Times are going to keep changing no matter how hard someone tries to stop it. People are going to keep trying to figure out who they are. For anyone to deny them that, well that is a crime in itself.