LGBTQ POLITICS - At a recent press briefing, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) – who literally wrote the law banning trans kids from sports in her state
– claimed to have no idea why massive numbers of South Dakota’s LGBTQ community are experiencing mental health challenges.
“There is a statistic circulating around right now that 90% of South Dakota’s LGBTQ community is diagnosed with either anxiety or depression. Why do you think that is?”
“I don’t know,” Noem responded. “That makes me sad, and we should figure it out.”
And yet Noem has dedicated a significant portion of her time to targeting trans kids.
She was the first governor to sign an anti-trans bill into law in 2022 – a law she wrote that bans transgender girls and women from participating in schools sports as their gender in public schools and universities in the state.
At the signing ceremony, Noem said she was “grateful” to the legislature for passing it.
She has also been using her anti-trans beliefs to promote her reelection campaign for next year. She released a national ad campaign promoting S.B. 46. The ad opened by declaring, “In South Dakota, only girls play girls’ sports. Why? Because of Governor Kristi Noem’s leadership.”
Noem is believed to also have presidential ambitions, which could explain why her campaign paid to run her anti-trans ad nationally instead of just in her state.
(Molly Sprayregen is a queer writer. Her work can be found in Out Magazine, Them, Into Magazine, The Associated Press, LGBTQ Nation, Roxane Gay's Gay Magazine, and more. More info at MollySpray.com)