LINCOLN, Neb. – Today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nebraska released the first video in a new series highlighting Nebraskans who are transgender, nonbinary and two spirit, a term used by many Indigenous communities to describe LGBTQ+ tribal members. The video is now available on YouTube and TransNebraska.org, a website run by the ACLU of Nebraska.
The debut video features eight Nebraskans discussing their thoughts on dignity, equality and respect. Later videos in the series will showcase individual stories, going more in-depth into featured Nebraskans’ lives. In total, six videos will be released over the coming weeks.
Omahan Eli Rigatuso filmed the new series, and says his goal was to capture the diversity of transgender, nonbinary and two spirit people in the state.
“As a trangender and two spirit person myself, I was honored to capture these stories and I am proud of the participants," Rigatuso said. "Seeing ourselves attacked in the media and used as political pawns, it was my goal to highlight our diversity — and more importantly, our joy. We are extraordinary Nebraskans who are thriving despite what we have to face.”
The new series is a revamp of the civil right’s organization’s 2015 series “Transgender Voices.” Its launch comes as the Nebraska Legislature considers several bills that the ACLU of Nebraska says threaten LGBTQ+ Nebraskans’ rights, including bills that would ban youth from attending all-ages drag show events, deny transgender youth certain kinds of medical care, and prohibit transgender youth from playing sports consistent with their gender identity.
Jane Seu, ACLU of Nebraska legal & policy counsel, said the series comes at an important time.
“Everyone can benefit from listening to these Nebraskans’ stories and learning more about their lives,” Seu said. “Their messages about the need for acceptance and understanding are for all Nebraskans, and we hope that young LGBTQ+ Nebraskans can see themselves in this series and know that they belong in Nebraska as exactly who they are.”
The ACLU of Nebraska lists LGBTQ+ rights as a top priority. Transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming Nebraskans can find information on their rights and resources on the organization’s standalone website: TransNebraska.org.