Letter: Put an end to the trans panic nonsense

Reid Messerschmidt of Fargo calls on Gov. Burgum to veto all bills aimed at punishing transgender individuals in North Dakota.

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Twenty-two bills have been put forward to punish trans folks and save our children from . . . what, exactly?

Let’s pretend for a moment that conservatives are right: Men are men and women are women and nothing can change that.


So? There’s no agenda here. These are people doing their best to be happy in the world, like almost all of the rest of us, with the exception of our legislators, who are either kowtowing to an extremist base for self-gain or deeply insecure, ignorant hate mongers, scared and angry about anything they don’t understand. Maybe both.

Here’s the thing: I don’t understand it either. It can be difficult to wrap your mind around someone else’s lived experience. Self-identity is complex and personal. And the human brain is pretty wild. But you don’t have to understand someone to respect them or just leave them alone.


Conservatives claim to be devoted to freedom and limited government. Full stop.

If the conservatives in this state truly believe what they say they do, they should stop legislating dress, identity, and information.

Our governor and I have many opposing views, but I do believe him to be a decent, reasonable man, so I’m calling on Gov. Burgum to veto all of this nonsense. To make it clear that he’s going to veto this nonsense so our elected officials can end this embarrassing, harmful charade and get to doing their job: Responsible allocation of our tax dollars, funding infrastructure management, and keeping the lights on.

Reid Messerschmidt lives in Fargo.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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