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Creating a rally: an organizer shares their experience rallying for life

Evan Holden
Students march towards downtown with Jesse Hall in the background.

On September 15, the Mizzou Young Democratic Socialists of America hosted the "Keep Hate Out of Healthcare" protest.

Missouri's state government passed a law banning gender affirming carefor minors earlier this year. The bill allowed for minors already receiving gender affirming care to continue, but MU Healthcare made the decision to stop giving gender affirming care entirely, citing legal liability.

There was a diverse group of people that went to the protest, including members of the community, Mizzou students, politicians and LGBTQ people.

No Hate, No Fear
More chants can be heard throughout the protest, such as: "No hate no fear, trans kids are welcome here."

According to the Office of Population Affairs, a section of the US Health Department, gender affirming care is important becauseit "improves the mental health and overall well-being of gender diverse children and adolescents".

May Hall was one of the organizers for the event and one of the leaders of the March through downtown Columbia.

Beginning of the March
Chanting can be heard at the beginning of the rally. May Hall led the chants: "Trans rights are," with the crowd responding, "human's rights."
Atmosphere of the March
"It was really cool for instance when we started marching to be able to look back and see blocks and blocks of people supporting us," Hall said.

According to Hall, local Columbia officials and members of the community are creating legislation that would make Columbia a sanctuary city for trans minors to get gender affirming care. Hall said that these efforts are based off of Kansas City's resolution to make Kansas City a Safe Haven for gender affirming care for Minors.

Under the resolution, Kansas City will not prosecute anyone for seeking or providing gender affirming care to minors. The resolution also encouraged the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department to adopt a "similar policy".

The potential for Columbia to become a sanctuary city was one of the points brought up during the protest.

Even though the law allows hospitals to continue providing gender affirming care for minors who had already started the process, one of the legal liabilities that was stated by MU Healthcare was the worry that doctors would lose their medical license.

The letter from the office of Attorney General Andrew Bailey stated that any health care provider who violates the law would be engaging in professional misconduct and have their license removed. As of right now, there is no current legislation in Missouri that would ban gender affirming care for adults.

Protesters adapt a familiar chant
Call: "MIZ" Response: "ZOU" Call: "When trans kids die" Response: "The blood's on you."
Possible Future of Trans Rights
"Find that queer person in you life and tell them that you love them," Hall said.
End of the March
"Have a wonderful evening. Love each other, and thank y'all for coming out," Hall said at the end of the protest.

This piece was produced as part of the coursework for JOURN 4462: Emerging Technologies in Newsrooms an upper-level journalism class at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Editors: Kat Duncan, Anna Spidel

Evan is a sophomore studying journalism at the University of Missouri.
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