People protested a Cedar Rapids roller skating rink after two transgender teens say they were kicked out.
Protesters lined Northland Ave. NE Saturday evening holding signs and standing in support of the boys, in a push for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community.
The protest stemmed from a recent skating event where two transgender boys, who asked to remain anonymous, said they were asked to leave the roller rink while skating during a "boys only" skate session.
"The DJ had said two people complained," one of the boys said.
"We didn't personally see anyone complain," another boy said. The two boys said when they were asked to leave, it caught them off guard.
"I've been going to Super Skate my whole life so I was just really disappointed and sad," one boy said.
"I've never had a problem until the last time I went," another boy said.
The parents of the boys described their feelings concisely: "Upset. Hurt. Shocked."
Despite the consistent rain, community members were unphased in their protest.
"Sending the message that hate is not okay, and that we want a safe space for our kids to be able to go," said Kat Power, who also organized a "skate-in" for community members to show support Saturday night.
"I don't even know how to describe it," said one of the parents. "I cried when I rolled into the parking lot."
Tommi Karma organized the protest Saturday, saying their goal was for the LGBTQ+ community to receive equal treatment, but also get an apology from ownership.
"An apology would be nice but I don't think it's going to justify what had happened on that night," one of the parents said.
"We are all part of this community and we all want to participate and we should all be treated with respect and dignity," Karma said.
"The community will be here for these young men and anybody else who faces discrimination," Karma said."
"Cedar Rapids will not tolerate that sort of behavior," Karma added.
TV9 made multiple attempts to speak with ownership from Super Skate both in person and over the phone, but a staff member declined to comment.