Governor-elect Jeff Landry speaks during a press conference Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at Russo Park in Lafayette, La.

I am a straight, White mom of two who doesn’t like to cook (though I do it anyway since my family has to eat), prefers Doc Martens to heels and would rather put my eye out than go shopping. These traits go against society’s narrow definition of what it is to be a woman but make me no less of one.

That’s just the freedom I have to be myself. Gender is complex, and I wouldn’t want anyone to tell me how to express mine; I just am who I am.

Whether we are Black, White or Brown, Native or immigrant, transgender or not, we all want the freedom to be who we are.

Some of our politicians want to put us into little boxes based on our skin color, where we’re from or our gender. There are people in power who fuel divisions based on race, and take advantage of our unfamiliarity with transgender people so they can deny our state the resources we need.

We each deserve the freedom to be ourselves, so supporting our youth to be their authentic selves is a fight we should all have a stake in.

The coming year will be a test of Lousianans’ ability to fight back against a group of powerful legislators who want to divide us and keep us complacent so they can grow their power.

When powerful politicians use division to pick and choose who counts, there have been those who have stood up for others and built inclusive communities. Now it’s our turn to stand up and demand a better future, no matter our race, age or gender.


New Orleans

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