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'It's utterly ridiculous': trans Tulsa students react to Oklahoma’s school bathroom ban

JazAlexReilly.jpeg
Kateleigh Mills / KOSU
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left to right: Jaz, Alex and Reilly are transgender students from Tulsa.

A bill to bar transgender students in Oklahoma from using the bathroom corresponding with their identity was signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt Wednesday.

StateImpact’s Robby Korth and KOSU’s Kateleigh Mills went to Tulsa to talk to a trio of transgender high schoolers on identity and how political conversations about bills like Senate Bill 615 would affect them.

Alex, Jaz and Reilly are all high schoolers. StateImpact is only using their first names to protect their identities. They spoke to StateImpact and KOSU in a roughly 45-minute conversation on the day Oklahoma lawmakers overwhelmingly passed SB 615, the measure that mandates students use the restroom that corresponds to the sex they were assigned at birth.

The students say they feel erased from the discourse around bathroom bans and other anti-trans legislation. The students say it seems lawmakers are focused on “protecting” their cisgender peers, who simply don’t need protection from them.


StateImpact’s Robby Korth and KOSU’s Kateleigh Mills produced this story in partnership with Focus: Black Oklahoma. This story is part of the America Amplified initiative using community engagement to inform and strengthen local, regional and national journalism. America Amplified is a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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Robby Korth joined StateImpact Oklahoma in October 2019, focusing on education reporting.
Kateleigh Mills returned to KOSU in December 2019 as Special Projects Reporter, following a year-long stint at KWBU in Waco, Texas.