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Letter: Our queer friends should not be afraid to exist in public

Kristin Nelson writes, "I call on leaders across the state as well as Gov. Burgum to denounce anti-LGBTQ+ violence, anyone who produces anti-LGBTQ+ content, and make statements to affirm the safety and existence of LGBTQ+ people."

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November 20th was Transgender Day of Remembrance; we remember trans individuals who were lost to anti-trans violence. It will also now stand as the day Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, found itself the victim of anti-LGBTQ+ violence. Club Q is the only queer nightclub in that area and was a place that is safe for queer people to exist in; they sought refuge there from the realities of what it means to be queer in 2022.

The reality is, is that queer people are not safe to exist in public spaces. Misinformation and campaigns designed to promote fear of queer folk are common and are now infiltrating into public spaces like school board campaigns, state, and national legislatures. The new session in North Dakota starts in January, and advocates are prepared to fight against bills targeting queer people; many such bills will be designed try to erase the public existence of queer people all together. Their efforts will be in the name of “saving children.”

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Protect North Dakota Kids describes itself as a political organization "dedicated to standing against LGBTQ and CRT propaganda."

I call on leaders across the state as well as Gov. Burgum to denounce anti-LGBTQ+ violence, anyone who produces anti-LGBTQ+ content, and make statements to affirm the safety and existence of LGBTQ+ people. Our queer friends should not be afraid to exist in public, they should not be afraid to be their authentic selves in school, and they should not fear their marriage being invalidated. Supporting LGBTQ+ individuals makes a stronger community for all to exist in.

Kristin Nelson (she/her) is the founder of Project RAI (Rainbows are Inclusive)

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