DES MOINES, Iowa — State representative Jennifer Konfrst, the Iowa house minority leader from Windsor Heights, said Thursday that she doubts Governor Kim Reynolds is truly sincere regarding the families impacted by the new law regarding transgender students.

“Imagine being a kid who has identified as a girl throughout elementary or middle school who woke up this morning and found out that now, all of a sudden, they’re less safe at school than they were when they went to school yesterday. It is cynical and it is wrong to have done this,” Konfrst said.

On Wednesday, Reynolds held a private signing of the new law that requires students to use the school restroom that aligns with their gender assigned at birth. “My heart goes out to them (transgender students and families),” Reynolds said Tuesday. “I’m a parent. I’m a grandmother. I know how difficult this is. This is an extremely uncomfortable position for me to be in. I don’t like it.”

Reynolds said she met with transgender students and their families before she signed the bill into law. “My heart breaks. I’ve sat down and met with them. It’s not easy for me either. It’s not easy for our elected officials to make these decisions. I hope they know that.”

But Konfrst accused Reynolds of following the lead of Republicans in other states in supporting the law.

I have a message first for trans kids across the state. You belong here. You are welcome and  you deserve to be safe at school. You deserve the same rights as every other kid in the classroom and house democrats will fight for you every single day because this is nonsense. I also have a message for the governor. The governor said that she didn’t like signing these bills and that, frankly, the made her sad. And…you know what…I call bull*$%! I don’t think the governor is truly as upset as she says. She is not the victim here. The victim here are kids. They’re kids who can’t get gender affirming care any more in this state, who are currently getting care, who have to go out of state to get it. The kids are the victims. The ones who are now scared to go to school because they’ll get bullied of who they are. The kids are the victims who’ve been targeted over and over and over again by this governor because she sees what governors around the country are doing and she wants to keep up. When we see what is happening across the country and we see this governor following suit, every single time, we know she is not the victim. She is the perpetrator. She is the one victimizing these kids each and every day by pushing for this legislation and bullying kids. 

Jennifer Konfrst, Iowa House minority leader