It is Pride Month, and gay Americans ought to have a whole lot to celebrate: A new president who’s pledged to urge for LGBTQ people, an easing of a pandemic which has disrupted their communal activism, and raising public acceptance of the basic rights, such as record-high service for same-sex marriage.
Congress has up to now failed to expand federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ men and women. Pandemic-related worries are still interrupting the typical exuberant Pride festivals. Along with a tide of anti-transgender laws in Republican-governed nations has been disheartening
“The exact same week I’m seeing all the’Happy Pride’ statements, I received multiple calls from friends about trans kids having to navigate entering psychiatric hospitals since they were suicidal and self-harming,” explained M. Dru Levasseur, a transgender lawyer who is manager of diversity, diversity and inclusion for the National LGBT Bar Association.
“I’m doing emergency management,” he added. “These untold tales about what life is like for trans kids are contrasting with’Happy Pride, everyone.'”
On June 1, the start of Pride Month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a statement making his state the eighth this year to ban transgender girls from competing in girls’ sports in public schools. Arkansas, among those eight countries, also has enacted a legislation prohibiting gender-confirming medical remedies, such as puberty and hormones blockers, which greatly lower the danger of suicide in trans childhood.
“We know that trans young people are most marginalized and vulnerable students in our colleges — being bullied, harassed, abused,” Jennings explained. “We’re watching state legislators piling to the bullying.”
The trans community faces a disproportionate degree of violence. At least 28 trans and gender nonconforming individuals are murdered so far this year in the U.S. — on course to surpass the prior couple high of 44 these killings in 2020.
Activists’ concerns extend beyond transgender issues. For many, the best political priority is passage of the Equality Act, which would extend federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ people. It had been accepted by the Democratic-controlled U.S. House and is backed by President Joe Biden, but probably needs at least 10 Republican votes to prevail at the closely divided Senate — and thus far has no GOP co-sponsors.
Tyler Deaton, that advises a conservative group called the American Unity Fund that supports LGBTQ rights, believes enough Republican votes can be found if language has been drafted to ensure that the Equality Act does not infringe on religious liberty.