Fight Anti-Trans Legislation

Fair Wisconsin is on the forefront of the fight for full LGBTQ+ equality in Wisconsin. We monitor legislation and policy that directly impacts LGBTQ+ Wisconsinites year-round – from local municipalities to statewide legislation and federal law. We will keep you informed on breaking news and let you know when your legislators need to hear from you. Whether it is sending an email, making a phone call, or meeting face-to-face, communicating with your elected officials regularly is critical to winning equality in our home state.

Nationally, our community is facing a wave of more than 600 anti-LGBTQ+ bills. Unfortunately, Wisconsin has not been spared from these attacks. We are facing an unprecedented wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in our own state legislature, with dozens of bills seeking to restrict the rights and freedoms of the transgender and gender non-conforming Wisconsinites.

We can't do this alone and we need your help. There are lots of ways to get involved in the fight!

1) Call your legislators and tell them to stop attacking transgender youth.

2) Write an opinion piece or letter to the editor in your local paper.

3) Come to the State Capitol and testify at a hearing!

Testify at the Wisconsin State Capitol

Providing verbal, in-person testimony at the Wisconsin Capitol on any piece of proposed legislation is one of the most effective ways for you to influence the legislative process. But if you can't make the hearing, you can still submit written testimony!

Written Testimony:

If you can't make it to testify in-person we encourage you to submit written testimony. Make sure to address the message to the entire committee (it can say: "To the members of the {Assembly or Senate Committee on __}, or you can list each member by name).

Please include your name, city, ZIP code, and whether you support or oppose the bill. Keep in mind that the most effective testimony will share your personal story and explain how the bill(s) will personally impact your life or the lives of loved ones. You can also include details like how long you have lived in Wisconsin, your role in the community, and why these issues are so important to you.

To submit written testimony, email it to with the subject line: "Testimony for {INSERT BILL NUMBER}". We will make sure it gets submitted and is included as part of the official bill record!

In-Person Testimony:

Before you visit the Capitol and testify in-person, it is important to understand how the legislative process works and what you can do to prepare in advance.

How the Committee Process Works:

A key phase of the life-cycle of a bill is the committee process. Once a bill is filed by an author, it is assigned to one of many committees, depending on the nature of the bill. It is during open committee hearings that the general public and subject matter experts are invited to share their perspectives and expertise that might help legislators understand the impact a bill could have on the lives of wisconsinites.

Providing Verbal, In-Person Testimony:

On the day of the hearing, the committee chair calls out each bill as it comes up to be heard by the committee. After a bill is called and its author explains the bill, the chair will call out names of people who have registered to provide oral, in-person testimony.

When your name is called, you will go up to the committee panel or podium, state your name, who you represent, your position on the bill, and then provide your testimony.

Preparing Your Testimony:

First and foremost, it is important to note that there are time limits to each testimony. The chair will cut you off once your time has passed. However, these time limitations can vary depending on the committee chair, as well as how many other witnesses have signed up to provide testimonies that day.

Our rule of thumb: prepare your testimony such that you can read it out loud in two minutes or less. If you have more to say than what you can fit in two minutes, you can prepare two versions of your testimony: one oral, one written. The written testimony can be submitted to the committee and be as long as you like (just be sure to print at least two copies to hand over to the committee). The oral version of your testimony will be subject to time limitations.

As you consider what to say in your testimony, here are some additional tips on how to prepare:

  • Write it down. Having a script is highly recommended, as it helps you navigate everything you want to say and how long it takes to say it.
  • Talk about how the bill would impact your life. Draw on real, personal examples.
  • Be concise. Remember, you may be subject to time limitations.
  • Be respectful. While you want to come across as passionate, be sure to avoid using combative language or tactics.
  • Use data and evidence to support your position when possible. Providing hard facts makes it difficult for anyone to argue.
  • Be your authentic self. Remember you are there to provide a unique perspective to the creation of policies that could affect people’s lives; you are making a valuable contribution to the legislative process. Do not let other witnesses, or committee members for that matter, intimidate you. The committee process exists because legislators need to hear from people like you.

Day of Your Testimony

Where and When to Arrive

Usually a committee will announce when they plan to hear a particular bill at least 24 hours in advance. These hearings can start as early as 8:00 AM or as late as 5:30 PM. Keep in mind, each committee creates its own rules and processes for hearing testimony so when in doubt, be sure to contact Fair Wisconsin and we will do everything possible to advise you on when and where a bill will be heard by a particular committee.

First: Register to Testify

In order to orally share your testimony, you must first register to testify. In the assembly you will have to fill out a slip of paper with your name, city, and wether you want to speak in favor or opposition of the bill. For the State Senate you can register online when you arrive to the capitol, you must connect to the Wi-fi to do so, or you can use one of the kiosks outside of the hearing room.

Then: Sit, Wait, and Be Ready at a Moment's Notice

As mentioned, each committee makes its own rules regarding the order in which each bill will be heard and in what order they will call witnesses. Sometimes bills will be called according to seniority of its authors, while other times it’s “first come, first served” with bill authors lining up in the committee hearing to lay out their bills. Often, bills with a lot of registered witnesses will be held last, in hopes that some registered witnesses have to leave before their bill gets called. We recommend being prepared for a long day at the capitol.

If You Must Leave Before You Are Called

We know that testifying can require a substantial investment of your time. Not everyone will have the ability to stay at the Capitol until their name is called to testify. We all have jobs, kids, pets, or other life commitments we must tend to.

In these cases, try not to beat yourself up. This is another reason to always bring two copies of your testimony; you can always submit these written versions to the committee clerk if you must leave. Written testimony will still be considered by the committee and is usually read later by their office staff.

Other Tips and Important Information

What should you bring?

  • Bring at least two copies of your testimony and any documents you want included as part of the bill record. One copy is for you to read from and one is to give to the committee clerk for the bill record.
  • Bring chargers for any of your electronics. We also recommend you bring your electronic devices fully charged.
  • Bring water bottles, refreshments and/or snacks. Remember, you don’t know how long you may have to wait, so bring things to stay nourished and hydrated.
  • Bring something to do while waiting to testify. Remember, there is public WiFi at the Capitol so you can get some work done, or Netflix and binge.

What to Wear

There is no formal dress code at the Capitol.  Legislators and legislative staff generally wear business attire, so it always helps to look professional.