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Hall: Trans Hate Must End

The fight is real, and the demand for equality echoes louder than the hollow promises of those who resist progress.
Elle Cowley
Protestors hold and wear transgender flags at a demonstration against H.B. 257 at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Jan. 25, 2024. (Photo by Elle Cowley | The Daily Utah Chronicle)


Utah’s legislative session once again took a controversial turn with the passage of H.B. 257. This bill is set to alter the legal definitions of “female” and “male,” effectively excluding transgender individuals from the definition. This marks the third consecutive year that the state has passed an anti-transgender bill. Beyond the alteration of gender definitions, the bill includes restrictions on restroom use, all in the name of protecting women.

However, transgender individuals are not threats to public safety — they are people seeking dignity, respect, and the right to exist authentically in a world that often seems determined to deny them that basic human right. This issue isn’t just about legal definitions — it’s about dismantling barriers and embracing a world where everyone, regardless of gender identity, can live freely.

Discrimination Disguised as Safety

Initially envisioned as a measure to outright ban transgender individuals from using bathrooms in line with their gender identity, H.B. 257 faced substantial opposition. The House’s reluctance to endorse the initial version forced alterations to the bill’s language, veering away from an outright ban that wouldn’t result in criminal charges. Advocates of the bill argue that it aims to protect women, emphasizing the need for gender-specific spaces.

Let’s be clear — this bill doesn’t protect anyone. It perpetuates discrimination against transgender individuals and fails to address the real issues at hand. H.B. 257 is a misguided attempt that not only misses the mark but further deepens the divide, demonstrating a blatant disregard for the rights and dignity of transgender people.

H.B. 257 not only falters in its proposed mission to enhance safety but also takes a regressive step by attempting to regulate individual identity within the confines of a restroom. Beyond the legal intricacies, this bill reflects Utah’s persistent refusal to embrace diversity and grant equal rights to transgender individuals. By fixating on exclusionary policies, the bill not only misses an opportunity to foster unity and understanding but actively contributes to an environment that disregards the diverse tapestry of human experiences. As we grapple with the implications of such legislation, it becomes evident that true progress requires not just legal reform but a shift in attitudes toward inclusivity and respect for all individuals.

Rep. Kera Birkeland’s Distorted Narrative

H.B. 257 casts transgender individuals as potential predators, alluding that it safeguards women from those posing as transgender to cause harm. Despite the lack of substantial evidence supporting this claim, the bill skillfully shifts attention away from the reality that transgender men and women are more frequently targets of harassment and violence than perpetrators. Rep. Kera Birkeland, the bill’s House sponsor, said “They are predators seeking to harm women at the expense of transgender individuals.” She continued, “Nobody is calling out the transgender community for crimes against women.” This statement is effectively diverting attention from the bill’s inherently anti-transgender agenda.

By framing H.B. 257 as a measure against predators, Birkeland conceals its true intent while sidestepping any acknowledgment of crimes committed against the transgender community.

Chalked Voices, Erased Rights

The passage of H.B. 257 has set the University of Utah’s campus ablaze with activism. In a powerful display of solidarity, students used chalk messages to support transgender rights. However, the rapid removal of the chalk drawings sends an alarming message — one that raises doubts about the U’s commitment to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment.

Does the U stand with its transgender students, or does it unwittingly side with those who undermine their fundamental rights to privacy?

In the clash between student resilience and the censorship it was met with, the stark divide highlights an unsettling truth. We must question the hollow promises of inclusivity made by academic institutions. The U either must step up and embody the true spirit of inclusivity, or risk exposing themselves as mere hypocrites in the critical fight for equal rights.

The chalk may fade, but the demand for genuine change remains resolute.

Call For Justice

The implications of H.B. 257 extend beyond legal definitions, reaching into the daily lives of transgender individuals. By dictating restroom access based on an outdated gender binary, the bill has raised eyebrows and prompted many questions.

Where are transgender individuals supposed to go?

It’s a discriminatory puzzle that reeks of ignorance and disdain. As the transgender community fights for acknowledgment and respect, bills like H.B. 257 illuminate the stark hurdles they face.

“The American people will not stand for this invasion into our basic freedoms; they will speak up at state legislatures across the country and, if they are ignored, at ballot boxes in November,” said HRC President Kelley Robinson. Let this be a glaring wake-up call. Stand up on the right side of history or be forever etched in the annals of discrimination.

The fight is real, and the demand for equality echoes louder than the hollow promises of those who resist progress.


[email protected]


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About the Contributors
Lexi Hall
Lexi Hall, Opinion Writer
(she/her) Lexi is double majoring in English and Communications with an emphasis in Journalism at the University of Utah. She is from Las Vegas, Nevada, and came to Salt Lake City because she loves the outdoors. Lexi spends most of her time reading books and going to concerts with friends. She hopes one day to become an English Professor and a Journalist.
Elle Cowley
Elle Cowley, Multimedia Managing Editor
Elle Cowley (they/them) is a Junior at the University of Utah pursuing a degree in Strategic Communications. Currently, they work for The Daily Utah Chronicle as Multimedia Managing Editor, at Slug Magazine as an Editorial Intern and at KUER as an Intern for RadioWest. Their favorite part of their work is talking to lots of different people and telling their stories. Some of the work they're the most proud of is their work on the narrative podcast, Can of Worms and their Op-Ed series on anti-trans legislation in Utah. When Elle isn't out in the field, they enjoy knitting, visiting record stores and reading pulpy sci-fi.

Comments (10)

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  • L

    Liam ButterfieldFeb 12, 2024 at 8:56 am

    you know a piece is about to be good when hedberg is blathering in the comment section. Well done!

    • J

      John HedbergFeb 12, 2024 at 12:53 pm

      And when you address the content, rather than deflecting your criticism onto the author, so you don’t have to admit that you can’t find anything to argue regarding the content. Right, Laim? 🤪😂

  • J

    John HedbergFeb 11, 2024 at 4:18 pm

    The American College of Pediatricians just released a statement saying the following:

    “Mental Health in Adolescents with Incongruence of Gender Identity and Biological Sex”
    “February 2024”


    “Adolescents who have a gender identity not congruent with their biological sex have an increased incidence of mental health issues, including depression and suicidal ideation. Both before and after “gender affirming therapy” (GAT), adolescents who have gender-identity incongruence are at higher risk for psychopathology than their peers who identify with their biological sex. Previous adverse childhood experiences may play a major role in that psychopathology and needs to be explored in helping these patients. There are no long-term studies demonstrating benefits nor studies evaluating risks associated with the medical and surgical interventions provided to these adolescents. There is no long-term evidence that mental health concerns are decreased or alleviated after “gender affirming therapy.” Many individuals who have been treated with “GAT” later regret those interventions and seek to align their gender identity with their sex. Because of the risks of social, medical, and surgical interventions, many European countries are now cautioning against these interventions while encouraging mental health therapy.”

    ‘Calling for justice’, when will the Equity bigots #Listen and start showing genuine compassion to trans minors, women, and the rest of us, and give us a rest from their continual baseless hate-rhetoric, when the only ones hating here (which is usually the case) are the Equity Priesthood and their missionaries, some of whom here at The Chronic like to accuse the diverse but innocent multitude of human beings around them of a hatred which they themselves practice every single day?

  • C

    Cindy SKFeb 10, 2024 at 4:00 pm

    According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, less than 1% of trans individuals experience regret after gender-affirming surgery. That red herring is old and it is really starting to smell.
    As a woman who was assigned that designation at birth the anti-trans legislation passed by Utah and other backward states poses a significant danger to me.
    I do not look like the stereotypical Barbie. I have been filmed by a person as I exited a public restroom (for purposes of intimidation) because they couldn’t determine the state of my genitals.
    Calling out those who seek to cause harm is not “communism.” Labeling “hate” as hate is not an attempt to cut off conversation. It is a call for honesty. When you are walking your duck, talking to your duck, and acting like you have a duck, at least have the guts to own the darned duck.
    Seeking the degradation and harm of others (which anti-trans legislation does) is hateful.
    Seriously, when people go into public restrooms it is to dispose of bodily waste. The only people posing a threat are those who imagine perverts around every corner. We know who the “perverts” are (the FBI will happily provide the stats that demonstrate cisgendered males are vastly overrepresented in that category.) We know they are NOT as well: they aren’t the transfolx who just want to live lives of dignity and respect.
    Most of us do not have separate bathroom facilities in our homes. Many cultures do not designate separate facilities for toileting or bathing. Pretending that separate facilities are about “safety” is nonsense.
    U.S. Americans’ prudishness reflects their internal insecurities based on misogynistic, white supremacist constructions (they are rooted together.) To pretend otherwise is to ignore history as well as current reality.
    For those of us who are endangered by these gaslighting attempts to pretend it has anything to do with women’s safety, we will continue to call out the hate for what it is: hate.
    In solidarity with all the people looking to make the world a better place–

    • J

      John HedbergFeb 11, 2024 at 12:47 pm

      Since there seem to be people on campus and off who are willingly to physically suppress (transphobic) the voices of any trans person who does have regrets in a bitter attempt to prevent their already marginalized voices from being heard, how would you know if that the number of trans people, who had surgery and now have permanent regrets, isn’t growing, both here and in Europe, where some of the major trans centers have written about the growing number of post-surgical suicidal trans people who can never get their original functioning organs back, and where there are presently new research studies exploring whether anyone under 18 should ever explore pre-adult surgery or hormone blockers, since puberty often resolves equivocal feelings by nature?

      If you have any statistics to that show trans or LBGTQ+ individuals are facing harassment or violence at a higher rate than any other groups on campus or in society, show them or stop gaslighting us. Frankly, I’ve seen so much hate rhetoric, suppressive attacks, harassment, even assaults, just for walking around this campus and eating dinner, all coming from the Equity bigots who oppress everyone else’s safety and feelings in the name of a compassion they never actually practice themselves, that I simply won’t believe your hate-rhetoric until you show me the stats showing that the people you actually say you care about have it any worse than everybody else. My personal experience says otherwise, and the stats will probably show that, too.

      I love the way no one in the Equity Priesthood even asks about hatred, harassment, or assaults which happen to people they don’t care about, which is most everyone else. If it turns out the stats show that non-trans and non-LGBTQ+ folks are getting hated on and harassed at an even higher rate (like Chloe Cole or Riley Gaines, whether on film or in person), will you even care? Will you have even an iota of compassion then for the consequences of your own racist and sexist hate rhetoric expressed here in this comment, since this falls onto the rest of us as human beings, an identity which we all share equally without the preference, prejudice, or precedence you seem to favor or demand?

      Thank you, Cindy, with Love~

  • L

    Libertarian70Feb 9, 2024 at 9:54 am

    So there you have it, the communists have spoken.

  • J

    John HedbergFeb 9, 2024 at 6:11 am

    “All Trans Hate By Equity Hypocrites Must End” 😋

    Why does The Chronic keep publishing the same article over and over again, falsely accusing women and the population which #Listens to them of the crimes they themselves are actually committing, as they hate-label and target anyone who doesn’t go along with their highly prejudiced and narcissistic tantrums, demanding that we give preference to the feelings one group (which is itself discrimination) while simultaneously dehumanizing and marginalizing the safety and feelings of everyone else in the room, no matter how they identify?

    Just to reiterate AGAIN 😂:

    A large and growing number of post-surgical transgender persons are realizing in retrospect that they were not feeling at home in their own body for reasons which had nothing to do with gender, and now that they’ve chosen irreversible removal of body organs that can never be replaced (for instance, they can never have children), there have been a growing number of suicides reported by the leading transgender institutes in Europe, which are a few years ahead of this country when it comes to treating true gender dysphoria. My question is why some of you are apparently so transphobic that you deny, suppress, and refuse to inclusively #Listen to the diverse lived experiences of suffering people whose feelings may differ from your own, by showing them empathy and compassion as if you value their humanity the same way you value others. Why do you devalue the humanity of these transgender people whose experience may be diverse from your own?

    YAF did not speak hatefully to ‘all trans people’ just because they allowed Chloe Cole and others to speak their lived experiences of what happens when surgery and hormone blockers turn out to be the wrong answer for someone not feeling at home in their own body. There are other reasons besides gender that can cause individuals to not feel at home in themselves, and so showing the consequences when people choose permanent bodily changes which cannot be reversed, who find out later that this was not the correct treatment to help them, seems like very basic due diligence in assisting every person to make the best (most compassionate) choice for themselves given their own circumstances.

    People with male genitalia (no matter how they identify) should not be sharing bathrooms or changing spaces with people with female genitalia. It’s important to respect the feelings and safety of trans individuals, and it’s just as important to respect the feelings and safety of every other person in the room, since suppressing and dehumanizing anyone’s well-being can cause anguish and suicidal feelings, no matter how these persons identify: that’s humanity which we all share equally, which is why it’s important that everyone’s rights and well-being are considered and weighed with the equal caring value for each person impacted, every single individual person. (#Listen to women’s voices, with respect, since the cases of abuse The Chronic refuses to report or acknowledge most often fall upon this population~)

    No one gets precedence. Otherwise, someone is being systematically devalued and dehumanized as if they have less value, which is morally wrong and reprehensible, like saying bigotry is right, when we all acknowledge that hatred of any human being is wrong. No exceptions, and everyone’s value is equally represented and considered.

    Mecha and their Marxist-Equity priesthood attempted to silence and suppress the voices of trans individuals like Chloe Cole and others whose lived experiences don’t agree with their feelings, like saying only the feelings of those who agree with Mecha have value, or more to the point, only the human beings who agree with Mecha’s feelings have equal human value in the eyes of Mecha. They shout about hatred and bigotry being wrong in the middle of practicing hateful bigoted silencing of trans voices they disagreed with at the YAF event. Now, some of the same “activists” are hatefully marginalizing the voices of women who don’t feel safe changing or sharing a restroom with people who have male genitalia, no matter how they identify (it’s not a trans issue). Isn’t the definition of hypocrisy to dehumanize innocent others for hateful behavior which you’re actually practicing yourself?

    To respect everyone’s humanity and dignity, without question, everyone should be allowed to use public restrooms, but people with male genitalia (trans or otherwise) should not be allowed to share bathrooms or changing spaces with people with female genitalia, since this protects and respects the safety and well-being of everyone equally. Is it so hard to respect everyone’s feelings as if their humanity and concerns are equal to your own? This is basic Sesame Street stuff~!

    Is it really disrespecting your safety and feelings to equally respect the safety and feelings of everyone else involved, because if it is, this may not be a problem with the culture so much as a problem of individual maturity, respect, and considerate compassion being weighed on everyone’s behalf, because the consequences are the same, no matter which human being they’re affecting, and how is your humanity more valuable than others: it’s certainly not less, and we all agree on that.

    So, to recap, when the Marxist-Equity ‘useful idiots’ preach about diversity and inclusion, they only mean inclusion of diversity which agrees with their prejudices and feelings, and to heck with everyone else, no matter how they look or identify. That’s racism, misogyny/misandry, homo/hetero-phobia, religious bigotry, ethnic stereotyping, and transphobia all rolled together, because if any diverse person from any group has an opinion or experience that doesn’t agree with the hatreds or prejudices of the Equity Red Guard, those transgender people are dehumanized, those LGBTQ+ folks are dismissed and excluded, those BIPOC & intersectional persons are demeaned and defamed falsely as haters, and so all individuals no matter how they look or identify are called bigots just for being themselves, for having their own lived experience and their own opinions based on that experience, and for having compassion for any whom the Equity “screw-loose gurus” don’t have compassion for (the name Chloe Cole immediately comes to mind as someone whom they suppressed and dehumanized, but there are plenty of others).

    When will the Editorial Staff of The Chronic start being inclusive of diverse viewpoints in what they publish (while claiming their discrimination is compassion) as they systemically deny and attempt to silence the very same marginalized voices day after day which they falsely claim to represent in the name of Marxist-Equity’s needless division and factionalism, a deliberate campaign against the Love-based unity inherent in our common human identity?

    • P

      PhilFeb 11, 2024 at 3:52 pm

      You appear to be a modern day ludite, John. So many of your points are simply wrong and harmful. To everyone. There is simply nothing to base your fears on. And again, those points you make are based on nothing more than fear. As to detransitioners, they are few and far between. We all hear them. We respect them. They have solid points. We also hear the voices of those for whom transitioning was the correct course of action. And they are the vast, vast majority. Every major medical association backs them.

      It seems, for you, it comes down to this: you just don’t like them. And you drum up fear and loathing to harm them with malice and intent. Find the good in people, John. It’s a far better way to live.

      • J

        John HedbergFeb 12, 2024 at 2:43 am


        Your own prejudice is showing, which you’re painting onto me: this is a psychological phenomenon called “projection”, and it’s particularly common among the self-righteous and the condescending (all flavors).

        As for “Every major medical association backs them”, see the post above regarding the new findings out of Europe, as well as the revised standing of the American College of Pediatricians. So, your own point is “simply wrong”, and new data which emerges over time (called science) seems to be confirming this. We all make mistakes~! 😋

      • J

        John HedbergFeb 12, 2024 at 8:59 am

        (People wearing their Big Boy pants will even apologize for falsely accusing others of the very toxic behavior they displayed themselves~! 😜😂 Big Boy pant-wearers aren’t usually so afraid of open discussion that they label anyone who differs from their feelings as “harmful”, so I’m not holding my breath here~🙂)