Local advocates speak out about pronoun bill

North Dakota lawmakers
North Dakota lawmakers(KVLY)
Published: Mar. 26, 2023 at 8:43 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Earlier this week, the North Dakota House of Representatives voted to advance SB 2231.

The bill would prohibit public schools and state agencies from requiring the usage of pronouns that don’t correspond to an individual’s sex assigned at birth.

This bill led to a large debate between North Dakota’s law makers, and now has left local advocates to talk about what they think this will mean for the transgender community moving forward.

Faye Seidler, Suicide Prevention Advocate, said that she believes conversations need to be had.

“These are conversations worth happening but making a law so broad and restrictive isn’t a conversation, it’s kind of a decree,” Seidler said. “And I think we do need more conversations to better understand why these policies exist, what these kids need, and to make sure that all of our kids are getting support so that they can do better in their life just in general.”

In a previous Valley News Live article, lawmakers made it clear where they stood on the bill.

Seidler said that if the bill passes, she believes it will take away a safe space for some transgender kids.

“A lot of these kids who maybe are from homes that aren’t particularly safe for them to be open or out about their identity, sometimes they find safety in school,” Seidler said. “If this bill passes, then we’re going to see that these kids don’t really have a safe place to exist. They don’t really have a place where they can really be themselves.”

Seidler said that from looking at data, transgender kids who’s pronouns are accepted by others tend to have less suicidal tendencies.

“The suicide attempt rate drops nearly in half when kids can just be themselves and be honored for who they are,” Seidler said.