People in trans community take stand against Missouri Senate bill

Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 10:38 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - For the last decade, March 31 has been celebrated by many in the transgender and LGBTQ+ community as the International Transgender Day of Visibility. This year, News 4 spoke with people in that community to hear their stories and how some legislation could impact them in Missouri.

“It’s been my whole life. So, you know, I really did know. First I came out as gay in 2018, slowly started presenting more masculine. I would say I was pretty much assuming the presentation I have now in early 2019,” Kase Hohlt said.

Hohlt, originally from the Metro East, grew up in what they described as a perfect, loving family. Hohlt identifies as non-binary trans-masc, and said being able to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility as themselves is a blessing.

“Living that out loud, I mean, that’s how you break down barriers. That’s how you get people to see you as a human, by showing you you’re not ashamed, and you’re proud, and you’re happy, and you’re comfortable,” Hohlt said.

Hohlt began transitioning in 2019 and has had top surgery. Hohlt said they feel more comfortable now in their own skin. However, they and others in the trans community said feeling comfortable is few and far between.

“The first reality that you realize when you have a trans kid is that your government is at war with you,” Daniel Bogard said.

Bogard has a transgender son. It’s a decision he said his son made when he was 6.

“It’s so clear when you know these kids that they know who they are. This is not some game, this is not some make-believe or dress up, this is an expression of their core humanity,” Bogard said.

For the last two months, Bogard has been fighting legislation in Missouri for his son and others in the trans community. Right now, there are several bills being discussed that would prohibit trans kids from participating in sports, bills calling to “protect women’s sports only”, and even bills criminalizing parents who help kids transition.

One piece of legislation is Senate Bill 740, sponsored by St. Charles Republican Senator Bill Eigel. In the last part of the bill, it designates gender specific sports in private and public middle and high schools. Language stating “no athletic team or sport designated for females, women, or girls call be open to students of the male sex as assigned at birth. The bill would also stop schools, institutions or organizations from entertaining complaints and even investigations.

“It’s targeting kids, and I think that’s really key here because we’re not talking about professional athletics,” Bogard said.

Hohlt echoed that and said there’s no need to make kids feel out of place.

“To wanna take away something like that from a kid, and make them feel even more ostracized, like where’s the humanity in that?” Hohlt said.

News 4 made several attempts to schedule an interview with Sen. Eigel this week to discuss SB740. We also sent a list of questions. His office responded to the request saying “the senator has nothing else to add.”

If you’d like to take a deeper look into Hohlt’s transition journey, you can check out ‘Beyond the Before and After’ docuseries featuring Hohlt and others. Click here to watch and learn more.