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The LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender folks, is under attack from Republicans. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, nearly 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have gone before state legislatures since the start of this year alone, and anti-trans bills have doubled since 2022.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed several anti-LGBTQ+ bills, which Joe Saunders, senior political director of Equality Florida, called “an all-out attack on freedom.” One bill prohibits transgender children from receiving gender-affirming care, while another restricts teachers, faculty, and students from using the pronouns of their choice in public schools. Other bills ban children from attending drag shows and prohibit trans people from using restrooms, changing rooms, and other public facilities that match their gender identity.
Meanwhile, Target caved to a concerted campaign by anti-LGBTQ+ bigots and pulled merchandise honoring Pride month after facing public backlash from the right, joining Bud Light, the Dodgers, and Disney as yet another brand drawn into the center of the conservative plan to target LGBTQ+ people.
In April, transgender lawmaker Zooey Zephyr was silenced by her Republican colleagues, who wouldn’t allow her to speak on the Montana House’s floor unless she apologized for saying lawmakers would have “blood on their hands” if they passed a law banning gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth in the state. Despite the dissent of hundreds of protesters, Zephyr was voted off the House floor for violating its rules of decorum.
And these are just a few of the latest challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in their fight for equality in America.
All these examples point to Republican efforts to attack, exclude, and eradicate queer people, particularly trans folks, from living and coexisting peacefully. But while this Pride month feels hard as we strive to counter these efforts rooted in hate, we refuse to be silenced. They’ve tried over and over, and they have failed, over and over.
The movement for liberation and gay rights continues to grow–despite the right’s hatred–across the country and globally. We see their tactics. And we’re fighting back.
It’s more important now than ever before that we come together—whether you’re in the LGBTQ+ community or an ally—to fight back and show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. Here are a few ways you can do that:
This Pride month and beyond, let’s work toward a world where our LGBTQ+ community members can thrive. We can practice our allyship and take steps to build the future we want, together.