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

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

This conversation was produced with support from the Education Writers Association. The mission of the Education Writers Association is to strengthen the community of education writers and improve the quality of education coverage to better inform the public.

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Robby Korth joined KOSU as its news director in November 2022.
Kateleigh Mills was the Special Projects reporter for KOSU from 2019 to 2024.
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