The Future With Kim

Jersey Bilyeu, Writer

On Nov. 8 2022, Iowa held its gubernatorial election where Kim Reynolds was re-elected as the State Governor.

In 2018, Reynolds was elected to be the 43rd governor of Iowa. Since then she has ignored CDC guidelines around COVID-19 and most recently, attacked transgender Iowa citizens in her 2022 campaign ad

Reynolds said, “Here in Iowa, we know right from wrong, boys from girls…” 

While this statement does not directly attack the transgender community, it creates a mindset that boys are born boys and girls are born girls. With no opportunity for growth and change in our identities.

Reynolds’ attack on the LGBTQ community is not a surprise. In February 2022, she passed law House File 2416, which only allows athletes assigned female at birth to play in women’s sports. Meaning transgender women are not allowed to participate.

The Iowa State Education Association called this law a “hateful attempt to intimidate both students and the education professionals helping them succeed.” Her pre-election ad seems to be yet another attack on the trans citizens of Iowa.

Her use of the words “boys from girls” is a direct attack on the idea of transgenderism, insinuating that Iowa knows boys are born boys and girls are born girls. 

According to research conducted by UCLA’s, Williams Institute in June of 2016, 0.31% of Iowans identify as transgender. Iowa is ranked 49 out of 50 in transgender population percentage. Blue states like California and Hawai’i are ranked one and two respectively, with 0.76% and 0.78% of their populations identifying as transgender.  

The difference in these numbers can be attributed to how safe people feel openly identifying as transgender. Kim Reynolds’ continuous attacks on the trans community have sparked fear in citizens of Iowa, for her political gain.

The Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President, Policy & Political Affairs, JoDee Winterhof responded House File 2416, “Like anti-equality politicians across the country, Governor Reynolds is attacking some of the most vulnerable members of society in order to gin up her support with the extreme factions of her base during an election year,” said Winterhof. “Iowa deserves a Governor who will lift up all Iowans and implement real solutions for real problems.”

The Republican party is often associated with anti-LGBTQ ideals. Reynolds’s approach to LGBTQ lawmaking seems to be her way to gain support. In 2022’s gubernatorial election, 95 of Iowa’s 99 counties voted Republican.

Cedar Rapids Mayor, Tiffany O’Donnell, declined a full interview but gave a short email response. 

“I am tremendously proud of the City’s mantra: ‘Welcome is our Language.’ This is a citywide movement that reiterates our welcoming spirit where we embrace people of all religious, spiritual and non-spiritual traditions; ethnicities, cultures and races, gender expression, LGBTQ+ and all levels of mental and physical abilities,” O’Donnell said. “The work to reinforce that culture is something that I, as Mayor, and our City Council is committed to achieving every day.  This is within our control.”

We attempted to reach out to Reynolds, but received no response from her or her team.

Reynolds already attacked public education, LGBTQ people and public health. Her continued contempt for Iowa and her constituents is a signal for the state’s future.