Breana opposes South Dakota's anti-trans legislation

Every year, state lawmakers take aim at the rights and well-being of trans kids while ignoring real issues facing our state.

Year after year, it’s the same story: Issues that matter most to South Dakotans get ignored as some lawmakers continue to attack the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit community.

The ACLU of South Dakota believes that trans South Dakotans’ humanity, dignity, and ability to be full members of their communities should never be up for debate.

And we’re not the only ones.

People across the state, like Breana Brings Plenty, are speaking out against discriminatory anti-trans bills, too. Breana spoke in opposition to Senate Bill 46 during the House State Affairs Committee’s hearing on the bill. Read her testimony below.  

If you oppose anti-trans bills, too, speak up! Contact your lawmakers today. 

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Anpetu Wašté, Hello, My name is Breana Brings Plenty, I’m 17 years old, and I play high school volleyball, softball and I’m a varsity cheerleader in South Dakota.

I oppose anti-trans bills because I reject the notion that cisgender girls like me need protection from our transgender peers.

I’ve heard legislators say that bills like House Bill 1006, and Senate Bill 46 are meant to protect cisgender girls like me, but these bills do not make me feel protected. They make me and the transgender people that I love in South Dakota feel attacked. Supporters argue for these bills by claiming that I am weak and I could never compete with a trans girl. They tell my friends who are trans girls that I need protection from them on the field in our school facilities. 

These bills also encourage people to scrutinize our bodies and open the door to privacy intrusions for all women and girls. Whether we are trans, cis, intersex - these bills invite our peers to question our gender and identity. Anyone who is gender-nonconforming regardless of assigned sex at birth is made a target. And we know this will disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous and other women and girls of color, who are already criticized and interrogated about their gender, particularly when they are successful - like Serena Williams and Caster Semenya. 

These bills won’t make sports or restroom usage safer or fairer for anyone — all they would do is stigmatize and exclude our transgender friends and family, and undermine the privacy rights of all girls. 

Join me in telling our legislators that the only type of protection we need is from dangerous and discriminatory bills like House Bill 1005, House Bill 1006, and Senate Bill 46.

Breana Brings Plenty (she/her), Mahpiya Sapa Win (Black Cloud Womxn), is Northern Cheyenne and Oglala Lakota Sioux. She is a junior at Little Wound High School who plays volleyball, softball and is a varsity cheerleader. She currently resides in Rapid City.