Anti-trans governor Kristi Noem ‘hid in her office’ to avoid talking LGBTQ+ rights with We’re Here stars

A photo shows South Dakota's republican governor Kristi Noem standing behind a microphone with the American flag can be seen in the background

Kristi Noem, South Dakota’s Republican governor, managed to avoid discussing LGBTQ+ rights with a star of HBO’s We’re Here by allegedly hiding away in her office.

The vehemently anti-trans governor was approached by Amy Rambow, who We’re Here viewers will recognise as Shangela’s fabulous drag daughter from episode six of the show’s second series, to discuss her shameful stance on LGBTQ+ rights.

In February this year, Noem signed 2022’s first hateful piece of anti-trans legislation, barring trans student-athletes from taking part in sports that align with their gender identity.

Rambow, who has a trans child and founded South Dakota’s LGBTQ+ support organisation Watertown Love, wanted to ask Noem about her anti-trans views.

“It really wasn’t planned ahead,” Rambow said, explaining in an interview with Advocate that she and her child Alex were at the State Capitol to mark South Dakota’s Visibility and Advocacy Day and had been given a table outside Kristi Noem’s office.

“Her dog came up to me as she came in the door, and I just seized the opportunity,” she added.

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Rambow said she went in for a handshake with Noem and invited her to speak with the rest of the Watertown Love team, but the suggestion was swiftly brushed off.

“She did the old power move where you put your hand on someone’s shoulder and nod, and then went to her office,” Rambow said. “It’s just that look of seeing through you and not hearing you.”

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Despite remaining stationed outside Noem’s office for some time after the encounter, Rambow says she didn’t get to speak with her and that there was “a lot of security presence”.

She later shared a photo of her and Alex outside Noem’s door, with the caption: ”It’s too bad she doesn’t want to meet the kids she is making laws about! We are literally outside of her door. We came to her, she didn’t have to come to us! At least her dog was nice!”

On We’re Here, which sees Drag Race alumni Shangela, Bob The Drag Queen and Eureka travel around the US to spread the power and magic of drag in small communities, Rambow described herself as a “fierce” LGBTQ+ ally. As the mother of a trans child, she is a force of nature when it comes to raising awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and challenging anti-trans legislation.

Speaking of Kristi Noem’s anti-trans bill and the impact it has on Alex, Rambow said: “It affects his daily life and friends around him… [Not speaking to us] really meant that [Noem] could make laws but isn’t willing to speak to the people she’s making laws about.

“She could’ve at least taken a second to come out, but I’m sure after she signed a bill that she introduced into law she had no interest in speaking to us. She only represents those Republicans in the state and not anybody else.

“It truly angered me because we just wanted a moment to speak with her about the issues and she doesn’t take that time.”

This year has been one of the most ferocious in the US when it comes to newly proposed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. The discrimination is spilling out of politicians’ offices and onto the streets too: while filming the third season of We’re Here, Shangela, Bob The Drag Queen, Eureka and their teams were subjected to horrendous homophobic abuse.

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