Plain Talk: The mother of a trans person speaks out

Kristie Miller, mother to a trans daughter, joins Plain Talk to talk about her efforts in Bismarck to engage with lawmakers on trans issues, something she says hasn't always been pleasant.

A woman in a long-sleeved red and black blouse poses against a column with her hands clasped in front of her. Curled strawberry blonde hair cascades to her shoulders.
Kristie Miller, shown her in the lobby of the State Capitol in Bismarck, is the mother of a transgender daughter and has become an advocate for the rights of transgender people in North Dakota, who are the subject of a raft of bills.
Kyle Martin / The Forum

MINOT, N.D. — "When I'm in committee, when I'm speaking, nobody ever asks me any questions."

That's what Kristie Miller had to say on this episode of Plain Talk. She's the mother of a trans person and has become active in North Dakota politics opposing a legislative agenda in Bismarck she characterizes as an attack on the trans community.

The most frustrating aspect of that activism? How hard it is to even get some lawmakers to talk to her. "My experience is...when they found out I'm the mother of a trans child, they won't speak to me."

That experience isn't universal. Some lawmakers do speak with her. She credited House Majority Leader Mike Lefor, a Republican from Dickinson, with engaging, though she said that other lawmakers have been something less than pleasant to deal with. She described what she said was a rude interaction with Sen. Keith Boehm, a Republican from District 33 who primaried a Republican incumbent, Jessica Bell, over her vote to sustain Gov. Doug Burgum's veto of a transgender sports bill during the 2021 session.

She said that many Republican lawmakers are afraid of opposing the 21 bills dealing with transgender issues at the legislature. "There's a small group out there...when they found out a GOP member voted a certain way they verbally attack them," she said.


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Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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