The kids are grown, now what?: An Open Letter to South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

An Open Letter to South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard

Sunrise in South Dakota
Sunrise in South Dakota (c) 2016
Governor Daugaard;

Let me begin this letter by telling you how much I love South Dakota. I moved here 20 years ago and never looked back. I have spent the last 20 years working towards a better South Dakota for all of her residents regardless of race, religion, gender, political or sexual identification.
Yesterday, something happened that made me lose hope. Something happened that made me seriously consider moving away from my beloved South Dakota. That something was the passage of SD SB1008 by the South Dakota Legislature,

"Every restroom, locker room, and shower room located in a public elementary or secondary school that is designated for student use and is accessible by multiple students at the same time shall be designated for and used only by students of the same biological sex." 

Sounds pretty innocuous, doesn't it? This is actually one of the scariest pieces of legislation I've seen come through South Dakota in a long time. You would think that boys using the boys bathroom and locker room and girls using the girls sounds natural, and it is! However approximately 4.4% of South Dakota is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Before I go on, let's define transgender. Being transgender means that you were born with the physical attributes of one gender but your brain has the attributes of the opposite gender. What this means is that a boy born with male physical attributes whose brain is wired for female and is in the process of transitioning to female will be forced to use the boys bathroom and locker room.

Governor Daugaard, I would like you to think about that for a second. Would you want your daughter to be forced to use the boys bathroom. Would you want your daughter to be forced to shower with boys? That is what you will be forcing a transitioning female to do. You will be forcing a girl to shower with boys,

Now I want you to think about perception. There are many people who are judged by their appearance. They are perceived to be one thing when they are really another. Think about a girl who is labeled a tomboy. She has short hair, she wears jeans and t-shirts and Converse sneakers. A school official sees this tomboy entering the girl's bathroom and perceives this tomboy to be an actual boy. This bill gives that official the right to check this child's gender. How do you check someone's gender you might ask, you pull down their pants.

Governor Daugaard, you are a parent and a grandparent. Would you want to allow a school official to sexually assault your child to discover their "biological gender"? Would you want your child or grandchild afraid to go to school because they can't use the bathroom or locker room? Would you want your child or grandchild to sink into a deep depression and become suicidal because of legislation that you signed into law? Please! I appeal to you as someone who loves their children. Please, don't sign into law a bill that would harm the children of South Dakota.


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