Lincoln’s trans community rallies at the Capitol

LINCOLN, Neb. (COLOGNE) – International Day of Transgender Visibility was celebrated Friday with rallies and marches across the United States. Star City was no different.

Multiple events have shined a light on the trans community in Lincoln, as the state’s proposed legislation will have a major impact on minors.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, there are approximately 1.6 million trans youth in the U.S., and many of them spent much of the day rallying and protesting in Lincoln, along with friends and family.

It was a day of celebration.

“It’s fun when we come together as a community like this,” said Anna Nesmith, a senior at Lincoln High School.

It’s also a day of anger and mourning as trans youth in the state confront legislation they say will negatively impact them.

As currently written, LB574 would prohibit any gender-affirming care for minors in Nebraska, which would affect some Lincoln University students.

“I feel like I’m losing all my rights and people don’t see me as a person or a person,” said the Lincoln student.

An afternoon walkout was held at Lincoln High School on Friday, where a small group of students and community organizers marched about a mile to the Capitol with the goal of talking to state senators and denouncing LB574.

“What a trans visual day it is for me to speak out against this and say, ‘No, no, we’re still human like everybody else,'” said one Lincoln student.

The bill passed a critical round of votes a few weeks ago, but state Sen. Kathleen Kaut, who authored it, said she plans to amend it to exclude post-hormone treatment or puberty blockers. Instead, simply ban gender-affirming surgery on minors.

Kaut’s office did not respond to a request for comment on Friday’s protest, but he said he wanted to prevent teenagers from making a decision they later regret.

For many opponents, his proposed amendment is hardly a compromise, saying the surgery is generally not common for trans youth in the state.

“They’re arguing a non-issue,” said Maggie Miller Jenkins, a community organizer. “It’s a scare tactic and they’re just changing it to make it more palatable.”

No firm date has been set for when LB574 comes back to the Legislature for a second round of voting, but it could be in the coming weeks. Even as opposition state senators slow the session to try to derail the bill.

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