‘I feel like I’m losing all of my rights’: Lincoln trans community rallies at Capitol

International Transgender Visibility Day was honored with rallies and marches all across the United State on Friday. The Star City was no different.
Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 9:52 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 31, 2023 at 10:34 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - It was a day of celebration.

“When we come together as a community like this, it brings joy,” said Anna Nesmith, a Lincoln High senior.

But Friday’s International Transgender Day of Visibility was also full of anger and mourning as trans youth in Nebraska face legislation they say would negatively impact them.

As it’s written now, LB574 would ban all gender-affirming care to minors in Nebraska, which would affect some Lincoln High School students.

“I feel like I’m losing all of my rights, and people don’t see me as a person or see me as human,” an LHS student, who asked to remain anonymous, said.

All across the country, people honored Friday with rallies and marches, and Lincoln was no different. Lincoln High School students organized a walk out in the afternoon. A small group of students and community organizers marched about a mile from LHS to the Capitol, aiming to speak with state senators and denounce LB574.

“What trans visibility day is for me is speaking out against this and saying, ‘No, no, we are still human just like everyone else,’” said another LHS student who asked to remain anonymous.

LB574 advanced past the crucial first round of voting a couple weeks ago, but State Senator Kathleen Kauth, who created it, said that she plans to amend it to not go after hormone treatments or puberty blockers. Instead, it will ban gender-affirming surgeries on minors.

Kauth’s office did not respond to a request for comment on making the rally on Friday, but she has said she wants to prevent teens from making a decision they might later regret.

For many opponents, her proposed amendment is not really a compromise, saying surgery isn’t at all common for trans youth in the state.

“They’re arguing a non-issue,” Maghie Miller Jenkins, a community organizer, said. “It’s fearmongering and fear tactics, and they’re just changing it up to make it more palatable.”

There is no hard date set for when LB574 will take the legislature floor again for its second round of voting, but it could be in the weeks to come, even as opposing state senators slow down the session to hamstring the bill.

(Eds: Note use of vulgarity.) International Transgender Visibility Day was honored with rallies and marches all across the United State on Friday.