Hoera 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 Hoera Tetuhi Marei Kura Kingi, are speaking out against discriminatory anti-trans bills, too. Hoera 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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I oppose Senate Bill 46 because I know that transgender girls just like me, want to play sports for all the same reasons that other young people do.

We want to challenge ourselves, improve our health, and be part of a team.

As a cheerleader, I was profoundly and positively impacted when the superintendent of my high school stood up for me. They ensured I was able to participate as the young woman I am.

Had I been unable to participate, I would’ve been devastated. Being denied the ability to be myself would have stopped me from meeting some of my favorite people and making some of my most cherished memories like winning the all-tourney cheerleader award for my squad at the Lakota Nation Invitational in Rapid City.

My positive experience made me feel seen and accepted, it made me feel acknowledged that I could be myself and succeed.

This just adds to why I am opposed to South Dakota’s anti-trans bills. It’s sad to see that some of our legislators are saying their legislation wouldn’t prevent people from playing sports in South Dakota.

That is anything but true. I think they know that.

Forcing trans girls to participate on sports teams that don’t align with and affirm their gender is dangerous and detrimental to our health and well-being.

If you want to support people like me across the state of South Dakota, ask your legislators to vote NO on Senate Bill 46 and all other anti-trans bills.

Trans people and Two Spirit people are not to be feared. We’re just like everyone else.

Hoera Tetuhi Marei Kura Kingi (she/her) is from Porcupine, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Reservation. She currently lives in Rapid City and is a senior at Little Wound High School.