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Hoosiers discuss importance of Trans Day of Visibility as lawmakers consider anti-LGBT legislation

Girl Makes History As High School’s First Transgender Homecoming Queen
Posted at 3:53 PM, Apr 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-07 12:27:32-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Friday is Transgender Day of Visibility — a day to celebrate and raise awareness for the trans community worldwide.

Here in Indiana, some members of the community feel it comes at a time when their human rights are under attack.

“We’re here, we’re ready to fight and we’re not going away anytime soon," Declan Farley said.

Farley says this year’s TDOV comes at a particularly difficult time for his community.

“Especially this year, it’s important because there’s been a lot of hate surrounding transgender individuals," Farley said.

This legislative session, lawmakers introduced multiple bills that would impact the LGBT community.

One is House Bill 1608, which would limit conversations surrounding sexuality at school and require schools to notify parents if a child comes out as transgender.

Another is Senate Bill 480, which prohibits families and doctors from providing gender-affirming healthcare to youth who require it.

“Lawmakers need to be actually meeting with trans people and the people these policies actually affect and give us a seat at the table where we’re actually able to share our stories and how we feel about it, because it doesn’t have to be so tense and a mess. We’re real people. We’re members of your community," Jacob Wolf said.

Wolf has been taking hormone replacement therapy for about eight years — healthcare he says saved his life.

“It’s about to be 10 years since I attempted suicide and I’m just so incredibly grateful every day that I made it, to be able to grow up and have a beard, and all of these things. More importantly, within myself, to be able to love. I feel like I love so much more genuinely and I’m able to go and be somebody," Wolf said.

TDOV also comes just days after a mass shooting at an elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee, where three children and three adults were killed.

Authorities believe the killer was transgender.

Something Zoe O’Haillin-Berne says should not impact your opinions on the trans community as a whole.

“Anytime there’s been shooters in the past, we hear ‘don’t blame it on all men, don’t blame it on all white people, don’t blame it on all Christians.' We’re not out here trying to ban people from being white, male, Christians, but the time that we think maybe this shooter is trans, suddenly we’re trying to eliminate transness," O’Haillin-Berne said.

She works with Indiana Youth Group, an Indy-based organization that provides programming, support services and a safe space for LGBT Hoosiers ages 12 to 24.

She says the day shouldn’t be overshadowed by all the politics.

“Trans people exist. It is a beautiful, wonderful community. It’s our day to just be proud of who we are, be proud of what we’ve overcome and show our resiliency and our determination," O’Haillin-Berne said.