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Support for LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit People During the Holidays Can Make A Difference

Susan Williams
Susan Williams, Executive Director of the Transformation Project

The holiday season is meant to be a time of joy and celebration. But for many LGBTQ plus and Indigenous Two Spirit people, it can be especially difficult.

Susan Williams is the Executive Director of the Transformation Project. It’s a nonprofit that educates South Dakotans about gender identity and provides resources for transgender youth and adults.

Williams says many LGBTQ plus and Native Two Spirit people have not come out to their families and friends yet. And some fear rejection by family and friends.

Williams says if that happens, it can have serious consequences.

“Maybe you were homeless, maybe you are Couch Surfing because your family does not want you anymore because of who you are. It's absolutely soul crushing to know that that is a part of a lot of our community right now.”

Williams says support and advocacy need to go beyond the holidays. Especially during the upcoming legislative session.

“In South Dakota over the last six years we have seen several anti trans and anti LGBTQ plus and Two Spirit bills come to our legislature. And so it is a very tense time whenever legislators start for the individuals that are being marginalized and discriminated against”

If you or someone you know need support, check out the following resources:

The Transformation Project

Black Hills Center for Equality

ACLU of South Dakota

Sioux Falls Pride

LGBT National Help Center

-Contact SDPB’s Megan Feighery by email.