Below is the next installment in a series focused on LB574, Senator Kathleen Kauth’s bill to ban lifesaving gender affirming care for kids. Rena Adams has shared the email she sent to Senator Hansen regarding this bill after she was denied her right to speak at the hearing. If you would like to submit your testimony, email, or personal story, please email it to SeeingRedNE@protonmail.com .
Dear Sen Hansen,
I want to say thank you for the hard work put in on Feb 8th regarding the testimonies on LB574 the Let Them Grow Act. My name is Rena Adams, I live in Omaha NE in district 6 and I was one of the 80+ in opposition still hopeful to testify as the day came to an end. I’m 35, a lifelong Nebraska citizen, have a decade long career at Boystown, and I am a trans woman. You’ve probably heard this a lot from our community but I also knew as a kid that I was trans.
I wanted to share my testimony as it reflects on the sincerity of the invited proponent speaker Dr Jennifer Bauwens of the Family Research Council. The Family Research Council is the lobbying wing of Focus on the Family and who’s president Tony Perkins is on record agreeing that hurricanes and other natural disasters are sent by God as punishment for U.S. legislation advocating for LGBT rights. Sen Kathleen Kauth appeared on Mr. Perkins’ radio show the Washington Watch on Feb 3rd to promote support for LB574, to me it is deeply concerning to see legislation being advocated for by the people and organizations that despise the trans and LGBT communities the most.
During the Q&A with Dr Jennifer Bauwens Senator Walz asked her what other barriers and treatment is available to kids suffering gender dysphoria and I can testify to the full extent the neglect organizations like the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family give to trans and LGBT youth. I was put through the types of treatment Dr Bauwens listed as a child.
In her introduction of LB574 Senator Kauth mentioned a concern of a growing “social contagion” of transgender issues affecting youth in Nebraska. I am living testament that is not how this works. Since childhood I was heavily isolated; my parents decided to homeschool me K-12 for religious and political reasons; Our curriculum was curated by Focus on the Family. When I was 7 during my bedtime prayers I asked God to let me wake up as a girl; I had no language of what being transgender was or that there were others like me. According to my parents and the textbooks I was raised on, being transgender did not exist.
That feeling of distraught continued into my adolescence and at the age of 17 I attempted to come out to my parents as their daughter. I wanted to be put on puberty blockers to prevent more facial hair from growing in. I had hopes that I could attend my friends’ prom wearing a dress, to have an experience I’d longed for since childhood.
Instead I was told that these thoughts were a sin against God and was scheduled to meet with a Christian councilor trained by Focus on the Family. Any attempts I tried to explain what gender dysphoria was were met with the same explanation that God doesn’t make mistakes. I didn’t want to feel like a mistake, I’m not a mistake. I remember this councilor putting a hand on my leg and asking what made me feel sexy. I was there because I had wanted to wear a dress to prom.
I was eventually caught painting my nails a few weeks later and given the ultimatum to repent and stop attempting to be myself or be kicked out of my home in order to save my two younger brothers from being influenced by Satan. I didn’t want to lose my home or my family. They were all I had.
I thought about dying a lot after that, I learned to suppress so much of myself that I didn’t feel like I was alive. I wasn’t living. I’d continue floating through life in that mindset until feeling comfortable with therapy again as an adult.
LB574 goes into great detail to show what kind of care is to be prohibited to transgender youth in Nebraska. What’s missing from the bill is what, if any, care is permissible. To the Family Research Council and Dr Jennifer Bauwens there is none. There will never be a Focus on the Family approved transgender person because to them we are mistakes.
If you have any questions I’m available here, my phone number is (redacted) and I would happily drive to Blair to discuss further if it meant saving a trans youth in Nebraska from having to live what I went though.