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Kum & Go Advocates for LGBTQ+ Community

Retailer speaks out against 2 Iowa bills affecting transgender people
Kum & Go logo
Logo/Kum & Go

It wasn’t the first time and most certainly won’t be the last time Kum & Go has voiced its support for the LGBTQ+ community.

On March 9, the Des Moines-based convenience-store chain posted a series of tweets, the first of which read: “Protect trans kids. Period.

The series of five tweets continued: “44% of LGBTQ youth in Iowa seriously considered suicide in the past year including 52% of transgender and nonbinary youth.”

The stats came from The Trevor Project, West Hollywood, California, a suicide-prevention organization for LGBTQ young people.

“We’re people first and that means speaking up for our community,” a subsequent tweet read, adding that Kum & Go is against bills SF482 and SF538 in the state of Iowa.

SF 482, passed by the Iowa Senate, would require transgender people to use only restrooms and locker rooms corresponding with the sex on their birth certificate, KCCI Des Moines reported.

SF 538, passed by the Iowa Senate and House, would make it illegal to perform transgender surgeries or sex changes on those under 18 in Iowa.

Another tweet read: “One way we can all grow is through education. An org we partner with is the Trevor Project, whose mission is to end suicide among LGBTQ+ youth, and they provide great resources to educate yourself.”

Taylor Boland, director of communications at Kum & Go, said, “We still have work to do to continue to advocate for the LGBTQ+ members of our community. We’ve been supporters of Capital City Pride in the Des Moines area for many years.”

From a nonprofit standpoint, Kum & Go has supported many other organizations in different capacities, Boland said, pointing out its Kum & Gay Rights T-shirts it has sold for the last few years, with proceeds supporting the Trevor Project.

Kum & Go also teamed up with fashion label HOMOCO in 2021 to produce a limited-run line of sustainable swimwear and shirts to celebrate Pride Month. Kum & Go and HOMOCO gave a portion of the proceeds to the Transgender Law Center.

  • Click here to listen to a CSP Talks From the Top conversation with Kum & Go President Tanner Krause, who discusses the company’s business philosophy, the COVID-19 pandemic, new technology and dealing with racial and sexual equality and justice.

“This kind of space isn’t new for us,” she said. “We realize the importance of some of these bills taking place specifically in Iowa, but we know that similar bills that affect the LGBTQ+ populations, specifically those that are transgender, are also being talked about across our footprint.”

This is the first step to try and bring more awareness to these populations and the community, Boland said. “Along our company core values, this made sense to do.”

The last tweet in the series read: “Join us in continuing to learn how these issues affect our community and find ways to support inclusion across the U.S.”

“It’s the right thing to do,” Boland said. “Hopefully we’re making a difference.”

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