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Transgender Voices of the Ozarks, part 1

Ozarks Public Radio has been working to document the voices of transgender people living in southwest Missouri for this two-part series. A note for our listeners: This report contains frank discussion of sexuality and gender.

Transgender and gender nonbinary individuals make up some 1.6 percent of U.S. adults — and 5.1 percent of U.S. adults younger than 30, according to the Pew Research Center.

In 2023, 525 anti-LGBT bills have been introduced in more than 41 states, PBS NewsHour reported, citing data collected by Human Rights Campaign.

Missouri is no exception. This week, Gov. Mike Parson signed two laws, SB 39 and SB 49, that restrict gender-affirming healthcare for minors, along with trans athletes' participation in sports that align with their gender identity.

Amid the political tensions, KSMU interviewed several area trans folks to hear their point of view, their lived experience.

Listen to part 2 of this series here.

Gregory Holman is a KSMU reporter and editor focusing on public affairs.