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Statement in Response to SB480

Indiana Youth Group (IYG) is deeply saddened by Governor Holcomb’s decision to sign SB480 into law. We bear this immense heartache with our LGBTQ+ community across Indiana. Those who claimed to be looking out for the safety and wellbeing of Hoosier youth have failed miserably. They have used children as a pawn in their attempt to craft the narrative of the transgender “boogeyman,” and, ultimately, put countless trans youth in direct danger. These youth are marginalized enough as it is and already at heightened risk for hate crimes, violence, homelessness, and suicide. With one of their few lifelines removed, many youth will see death as their only way out of this state which continues to persecute them for simply being themselves.

Today, we are ashamed of this legislation, the lawmakers who supported it, and our governor. HATE IS NOT A HOOSIER VALUE. Trans Hoosiers are our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family. They are citizens with the same rights as any. We should strive to create an Indiana that is welcome and inclusive with ease of access to all healthcare, not banning lifesaving, evidence-based care that is supported by most major healthcare organizations in our nation. And still, cowardly Hoosier lawmakers are digging in their heels and spreading hate thinly veiled as “concern” for children.

It takes more courage to love than hate.

Therefore, IYG is doing the courageous thing and spreading a message of love. We are standing our ground and letting trans youth know that they are loved and accepted. We are making it crystal clear that the LGBTQ+ community is resilient. We are unbreakable. We will NOT be forced back into a closet or erased. This attempt to eradicate trans people from public life has only strengthened our resolved. We are more dedicated than ever to protecting trans youth. It has been more than 50 years since Marsha P. Johnson threw the brick that incited the Stonewall Rebellion and kicked off the queer rights movement. We are still fighting for the rights and dignity of trans people. We are still fighting for the LIVES of trans people.

To the trans young people of Indiana, we are here for you. Always. Our doors, our hearts, and our arms are open, and we will do everything in our power to protect and support you. From basic needs to mental health counseling to support groups to simply a space where you can feel free and safe to be yourself, IYG is here to support the whole, authentic, beautiful you.

To our fellow Hoosiers, we are calling on you to join us in supporting these youth. They need your love and support more than ever. Be vocal about your support. Be a visible ally. We also ask that you help support our programming, services, and resources that are needed more than ever. Please help us protect trans youth by donating today. Click the button below to give now.

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