Mayor Tishaura O. Jones, with her niece Beverly, attended the protest for transgender rights at Prism Bar and got up and spoke to hundreds of people belonging to the LGBTQIA community on March 25, 2023.
In Missouri, there are now over 30 bills being introduced against transgender rights and the two most recent anti-transgender bills will prevent treatment for minors and will not allow transgender women to compete in women’s sports.
The Mayor said, “Beverly is the reason why I fight so hard for your community. I have known her since she was a itty bitty baby. I stand here in tears thanking about how our state legislature wants to legislate their body, your body, and everybody’s body. But I got a message for our state legislators; if you don’t like drag shows, don’t go to one. You can just stay your butt at home, and we’ll have all the fun.” Listen to Mayor’s speech on YouTube
Mayor Jones continue saying, “I also want to recognize our honorees today: Jordan Elizabeth Braxton, Maxi Glamour, who beat my face for inauguration, and Akasha Royale. We’re here today because we refuse to allow our LGBTQ+ neighbors to be silent, erase or targeted by dangerous and hateful political attacks.
We’re here today because using hatred to survive is a tired and old political tactic. But to target our trans-youth is just disgusting. We’re here today because the attacks on our people, our history, our children takes us backwards instead of forward. I want to thank all of the advocates for working to defeat the drag band. Let’s claim victory where we can but we have a lot more work to do.”
“Instead of protecting us from gun violence,” the Mayor said, “instead of fully funding education and Medicaid, the Missouri Legislature is attacking our LGBTQ+ and youth, attacking drag queens for having a say. How are those priorities in our state, because it’s not a priority in St. Louis. If you hear nothing else from me today, I want to tell you that LGBTQ+ kids belong, no matter what the Missouri Legislature says.”
The Mayor ended with, “I want to thank all of you and thank the families for coming out. I want to thank the children for standing up for yourselves and fighting to make sure that we make this state a better place and make our city a better place. Thank you!”
In May 2021, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed a bill that prohibits transgender athletes from competing in school sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. This bill was one of several introduced in Missouri and across the United States that sought to limit the rights of transgender individuals.
There have been other bills introduced in Missouri that seek to limit access to healthcare for transgender individuals, ban gender-affirming treatment for minors, and make it harder for transgender individuals to change their gender on official documents.
Advocates for transgender rights continue to push for greater protections and recognition, as well as increased awareness and acceptance of the transgender community as a whole.