House Bill 1080: Transgender resident voices her views

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 6:13 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Many people have voiced their opinion about House Bill 1080, the bill addressing transgender transitioning for minors.

However, few have shared their opinion on the matter from the perspective of a person who has gone through the transition.

In an exclusive interview, reporter Beth Warden spoke with a woman who began her transition three years ago.

Danielle remembers feeling different from boys in kindergarten.

“You’re supposed to go play with the boys,” she said. “I didn’t want to play cars and trucks; I wanted to play house.”

In a family with strictly-assigned gender roles, Danielle was told to change.

“It was wrong to be this way, and I grew up believing that and believing that I was a bad person.”

The internal struggle became a dark pit.

“I thought it might be easier for my family and a lot of other people to accept if I were dead rather than transgender.”

The search for answers continued.

“I spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to find a way to not be Danielle, and it just couldn’t be done.”

She then received a diagnosis.

“Yes, it is true that I have gender dysphoria. Then it became a question of what do I do?”

Danielle found affirming therapy, researched surgeons, made the transition mentally and physically, and has no regrets.

“I have never been this much at peace with myself, with God, this happy. I mean, even with all the heartache in the cost.”

When it comes to House Bill 1080, Danielle said, “I firmly believe that both sides are right, and both sides are wrong. Allowing a child to transition if they are not truly transgender and don’t truly need to transition is the worst thing you can ever do. However, keeping a child who truly does need to do it is absolute child abuse.”

She believes more research could help understanding gender dysphoria.

“The issue becomes, ‘How do we know?’ And that really is the core of the matter.”

She has a message for legislators: “I will say that for both sides, treating our opinion as fact is wrong and dangerous. And I think it should be mainly between the doctor, the therapist, and the person themselves, with the guidance of their parents.”

For those facing the same questions Danielle once did, she said, “Find out as best you can for sure. Is this something I really need? Is this really who I am?”

“Hang on. There is hope,” she said.