It’s such a defeating experience and makes survival consume our lives.
Imagine not being able to provide for your family, build a home together, and enjoy the fruits of your hard work, just because of who you are. This was the case for Crystal and Amanda.
Crystal was born and raised a boy, but transitioned to live her life every day as the woman she has always known herself to be.
Crystal worked hard to provide for her wife, Amanda. Their financial situation was very tight but they were making ends meet. However, Crystal’s work environment became increasing hostile as people suspected that she is transgender1. After repeated negative comments made to her by her boss, she was forced to come out2 as a transgender woman. But despite the open harassment and attacks, Crystal remained at the job because she needed it to keep her family afloat.
One morning, Crystal was running late on her way to work. She called her manager, who didn’t pick up the phone, so she left a message saying she would be late. Other employees had previously called in when running late and that had been sufficient, but because of how she was treated previously, she was nervous and anxious, fearing the worst. When she arrived, her manager met her outside and fired her on the spot, saying that Crystal hadn’t shown up for work. Though unstated, it was clear to Crystal that she was fired because of her manager’s clear dislike that she is a transgender and lesbian3 woman. Crystal was devastated.
“My wife struggles working hard to support both of us because of it. It’s such a defeating experience and makes survival consume our lives,” Crystal said.
I feel so helpless and depressed knowing I can’t help [my wife].
With Crystal out of a job, the family met extreme financial hardship. They were already struggling, but this set them back in ways they couldn’t have imagined. Crystal reflected, “We live in an RV right now, and we’re still trying to pay it off. We have no running water, cold air pours in through cracks, [we have] only a mini fridge and microwave with no stove, and the toilet freezes. My wife walks to and from work, sunshine or blizzard, because we need the money. I feel so helpless and depressed knowing I can’t help her.”
South Dakota is one of 31 states that doesn’t protect LGBT4 people from discrimination. So LGBT Americans like Crystal can be fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, and denied services like medical treatment simply because of who they are or who they love.
People whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex assigned at birth.
Being outed means an LGBT person's sexual orientation or gender identity has been shared or announced by another person without their consent.
A lesbian is a woman whose innate, enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction is to other women.
LGBT is a common acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender.
South Dakota has passed 4 laws that actively harm LGBT people.Learn more
Can be fired or denied a promotion
Can be evicted from their homes or denied housing
Can be denied service at public establishments, denied medical treatment, or even kicked out of restaurants or businesses
South Dakota’s total population
Total LGBT population
Of LGBT population raising children