GOP governor candidate getting national attention after comments on transgender issues

Craft made the comment during a telephone town hall Monday night.
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 9:56 PM EDT
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KENTUCKY (WKYT) - Republican candidate for governor and former U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft is getting national attention after comments she made on Monday.

Craft made the comment during a telephone town hall Monday night.

Craft fielded questions submitted by callers from across Kentucky.

One asked how she’d combat the transgender agenda in classrooms. Craft eventually stated, “Under a Craft-Wise administration, we will not have transgenders in our school system.”

Now LGBTQ+ organizations across the state are speaking out.

“When the world constantly shows you every day that you don’t belong, it’s a rational thought to not want to be there,” said Transcending Stigma Executive Director Alexander Griggs.

As the Executive Director of Transcending Stigma, Griggs offers many services, like therapy for trans people of all ages. And maybe, most importantly, right now, he offers a mentorship program that matches trans youth to trans adults.

“It was born out of all of this anti-transgender legislation coming through,” said Griggs. “A lot of parents of trans kids are terrified. They’re looking, pleading for something to help their children.”

The latest concern for advocates like Griggs is anti-trans remarks made by Kelly Craft during the GOP’s primary race for governor. Craft’s running mate, Senator Max Wise, sponsored the law aimed at the rights of transgender youth in schools this year. And when asked how Craft would “combat the transgender agenda in classrooms,” she noted the Wise-sponsored legislation, saying, “We will not have transgenders in our school.” Continuing to say, “We will not have transgender.”

In a statement Wednesday, Craft’s campaign says:

Of course, Kelly was referring to the woke ideologies being pushed in our schools. She has been advocating for the best for all children this entire campaign.

However, it’s rhetoric Griggs fears will be most harmful.

“As much as we try to provide these kids with as much stability as we can, it’s always a risk of dysphoria and discrimination becoming too much for them to handle and them taking their lives,” said Griggs.

Transcending stigma is Louisville-based.

Griggs says their mentorship program also matches trans adults who have just started on their journeys with others who have been through it. He says they try to center their sessions around joy and understanding first.