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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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Transphobic Tweets and Zoning Changes: An Overview of the 1/17 Galesburg City Council Meeting

Transphobic+Tweets+and+Zoning+Changes%3A+An+Overview+of+the+1%2F17+Galesburg+City+Council+Meeting

Queer allies came out to support their trans peers after alleged transphobic tweets from one council member.

The agenda for the Galesburg City Council Meeting on Jan. 17 covered the usual topics of zoning changes and allotment of grants and bond funds to a new community center. However, this time they had something new: an additional section to address LGBTQ+ support in the community. This originated from recent awareness around First Ward Councilman Bradley Hix, and his alleged transphobic tweets.

Two of the tweets in question were brought up in the meeting. The first was a twitter response from the alleged Hix account to a trans person’s tweet that read “#Freak.” The second was a tweet from the account that read, “Identify how you want, but if you hurt one of my kids, your pronouns turn into piñata.”

While I sat there waiting for someone to address and bring up the tweets, I was pleasantly surprised to see a large turnout of not only trans allies, but trans people themselves coming forth.

Of the 16 speakers in the public comments section, 12 of them were there to speak out against the statements. Half of these were trans people. So many people showed up for the open floor section that at one point during the night, there was an entirely new audience of people sitting around me.

Several of the speakers mentioned choosing to move to Galesburg not just because of the local PFlag chapter – a national organization that supports queer people – but also because people from the queer community here encouraged them to come to Galesburg stating that it is safe and a great place to live for trans people. 

The audience included nonbinary parents with trans kids, trans-femme and trans-masc people of varying ages, and even reverends all coming forth to publicly demand a resignation from Councilman Hix, or pursuit of education, or a call to cease all discrimination, in support of trans people.

The meeting lasted four hours. For nearly half of that time people came up and told personal stories about trans experiences and being allies for trans people. Speakers, council members, and some members of the audience cried.

This is my second year at Knox College. I have, many of us, not spent much time in the actual Galesburg community around Galesburg natives.

Many times I have heard from other queer people on this campus how homophobic the town is. Several stories come to mind. The joke-rule of, ‘you haven’t really experienced Galesburg until someone has yelled a slur at you from a car,’ which I have heard said (and experienced) before more than once. It is easy to believe that the queer community in Galesburg stops at the edge of campus.

I do not have words for what it meant to me to see real trans people, trans adults, out and living in this town. To hear so vocally, and see in the audience, how vibrant and big this queer community in Galesburg is. I heard many whispered words of affirmation between members of the audience. At the end of the night, two audience members stayed behind with a box of pronoun pins for the taking.

While on some level, I was aware that there had to be queer people in Galesburg, it is a very different thing to see those queer people. It’s another thing entirely to see how wide and vocal not only the community is, but also the allies of said community in Galesburg. We often forget that rural communities have queer people. Sitting there with my laptop, I was reminded once again about how untrue that is. 

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Red Engel
Red Engel, Graphics Editor
Sasse/Red Engel '25, (he/they) is an Art History major with a Chemistry minor. They joined TKS in 2021 as the graphics editor and have continued in that position since. He is in charge of social media and the creation of the magazines. He is from Chicago, Illinois, and their current goal in life is to work one day at DC Comics, as a comic book artist.

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