The war that Republicans around the country are waging against drag shows, the transgender community, LGBTQ rights, women’s reproductive rights, educational institutions, and more show for everyone to see how twisted with ignorance, intolerance, narrow-mindedness, prejudice, and hate much of the Republican party has become.
In states around the nation, Republicans are pushing bills and laws that purposely take away rights from transgender+ people. Legislation banning gender-affirming care for minors is an example of this. Such laws are sickening and abhorrent because they worsen the quality of life of transgender+ youth and increase their suicide rates. A 2021 survey of almost 35,000 LGBTQ individuals (aged 13 to 24) revealed that 42% had seriously considered suicide in the previous 12 months, and that number increased to 52% for those who were transgender. And remember this survey was done before most of these gender-affirming care bans were being pushed. Gender affirming care (that goes beyond clothing, pronouns, etc) consists of things like puberty blockers and hormone treatments, and these can be stopped at any time. Gender reassignment surgery is actually extremely rare in individuals under 18. Something else to remember is that gender affirming care is not done lightly and is a group decision with the individual, their parents, doctors, and counselors all being involved. It’s not done willy-nilly. The major medical association in the United States support gender affirming care for minors because research has shown that such care improves the quality of life of transgender+ minors and decreases their suicide rates. This is why the laws Republicans are pushing banning gender affirming care are so sickening and abhorrent. Anxiety and quality of life for transgender+ minors are getting worse right now due to Republican efforts, and there is no doubt that suicide rates will go up.
In addition, Republicans around the country are assaulting other LGBTQ rights with things like horrible don’t say gay laws, are trying to severely restrict or take away female reproductive rights, and are actively attacking educational institutions’ abilities to encourage diversity and teach students honestly and clearly. Look at what’s happening in Florida. Republicans there are working to force educational institutions to essentially whitewash history and are trying to destroy programs that encourage diversity. The situation has sunk so low that the principal of a Florida charter school was forced to resign after showing 6th graders images of Michaelangelo’s David. That statue is a great work of art that is on public display in an Italian museum, and once upon a time, it was in a public square for all passers by to see. Tragically, Florida Republicans have already put their horrible don’t say gay law into effect despite the fact that it will worsen the quality of life for LGBTQ youth and undoubtedly increase their suicide rates. Now there is talk that Florida Republicans want to expand this terrible legislation all the way through 12th grade.
Think about all this. Really think about it. Also add in the fact that Republicans in multiple states are even attacking drag shows. Yes, drag shows. It’s abundantly clear that Republicans have gone way too far as they actively work to take away rights from millions of Americans because of ignorance, intolerance, narrow-mindedness, prejudice, and bigotry.
We must all stand against this, and those who can need to speak out. Make it clear that these attacks Republicans are making will not be tolerated.
And VOTE! Vote against Republicans who are doing these horrible things. Get them out of office and elect in people who protect people’s rights instead of actively trying to take them away.
The dark path the Republican Party is going down is getting more and more twisted and dangerous. It’s truly horrifying what is going on, for it goes way beyond just Trump. Republicans around the country are pushing legislation that is based on ignorance, intolerance, and full-blown prejudice. Here are just a few examples.
Around the United States, Republicans are pushing legislation that is blatantly targeting the LGBTQ community, and they don’t seem to care that such laws will increase the suffering of queer people and increase LGBTQ suicide rates, especially among young people. Consider the following statistics that were compiled by the Trevor Project in a 2021 survey of almost 35,000 LGBTQ youth (ages of 13 to 24). 42% of LGBTQ youth had seriously considered suicide in the past year, and for Transgender/Nonbinary youth, that number was 52%. 72% of LGBTQ young people reported symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder in the previous two weeks, and only 1 in 3 indicated that they lived in an LGBTQ affirming home. During the previous 12 months, 48% said that they wanted professional counseling but had not received it, and LGBTQ youth who had been subjected to conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to attempt suicide when compared to those who had not been subjected to the barbaric practice.
Now, think about those numbers. I mean really think about them. And remember that these statistics are from before the glut of 2022/2023 anti-LGBTQ legislation. Clearly, “don’t say gay” laws will worsen these numbers since they make queer students feel more isolated, out of place, and alone in addition to limiting the ability of school staff from helping out when needed. This latter point is very significant when you consider that only one in three queer minors felt like they live in an LGBTQ affirming home.
In addition to these horrible “don’t say gay” laws, Republicans around the country are also pushing for legislation that bans gender-affirming care for minors. Remember that even before these laws, 52% of Transgender youth in 2021 indicated that they had seriously considered suicide during the previous 12 months. Numerous studies have shown that gender-affirming care for Trans+ (Transgender, Nonbinary, etc) minors improves quality of life and thus decreases suicide rates. This is why the major American medical associations support gender-affirming care for minors. And the thing is, gender-affirming care is not done lightly. Numerous people (the individual in question, their parents, doctors, counselors etc) are involved in deciding whether gender-affirming care is warranted or not. The other thing to remember is that gender-affirming care for minors that goes beyond clothing, counseling, etc typically consists of medication such as puberty blockers and hormone treatments, both of which can be stopped at any time. It is actually very rare for individuals under the age of 18 to receive any kind of gender altering surgery. Yet despite all the evidence showing how gender-affirming care for minors works, Republicans around the country are trying to ban it despite the fact that such bans will clearly increase the suffering and suicide rates of Trans+ youth.
This wave of anti-LGBTQ sentiment and policy being promoted by the Republican Party is based on ignorance, intolerance, and blatant prejudice. It is worsening the quality of life of LGBTQ people and will undoubtedly increase suicide rights. This is why we all need to stand against the bigotry being blatantly pushed by the Republican Party. It’s important for people to speak out when they can in order to make it clear that such horrendous prejudice will not be tolerated. Trying to spend our money in places and businesses that are pro-LGBTQ and avoiding those that are anti-LGBTQ is another tactic we can utilize. When considering going on vacation, instead of going to a place like Florida (which is passing anti-LGBTQ bills into law), consider going to a state like California instead.
And VOTE! Vote against Republicans that are pushing these and other bigoted, intolerant laws. Vote them out of office and put in elected officials who protect things like LGBTQ rights, women’s reproductive rights, educational institutions, and more.
April 10, 2022
The LGBTQ Community still faces ignorance, intolerance, and prejudice despite the fact that it’s the 21st century. And what’s more troubling is how social conservatives in states around the country are trying to pass legislation that is deeply harmful to many Queer people, especially Queer youth. And that makes it so much worse.
There are numerous “Don’t Say Gay” and anti-Transgender type bills and laws being pushed by conservative Republicans in state legislatures around the country such as in Florida, Tennessee, Kansas, Alabama, Ohio, and Indiana. What makes these bills so destructive and abhorrent is how they target an already suffering community, that being LGBTQ youth. To prove my point, here are some statistics compiled by The Trevor Project, a national organization which provides support for LGBTQ young people in crisis who may be considering suicide. In 2021, they conducted a nationwide survey of close to 35,000 LGBTQ young people (aged 13 to 24), and here are some key numbers that they found. 42% of LGBTQ youth had seriously considered suicide in the past year, and for Transgender/Nonbinary youth, that number was 52%. 72% of LGBTQ young people reported symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder in the previous two weeks, and only 1 in 3 indicated that they lived in an LGBTQ affirming home. In the past year, 48% said that they wanted professional counseling but had not received it, and LGBTQ youth who had been subjected to conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to attempt suicide when compared to those who had not been subjected to the barbaric practice.
Think about those numbers for a minute. I mean really think about them. They are tragic and scary. LGBTQ young people need understanding, tolerance, love, and support, but these laws provide anything but that. Instead, “Don’t Say Gay” and numerous anti-Transgender legislation being pushed around the country promote intolerance, misinformation, and downright prejudice. They make Queer kids think that there’s something wrong with them which in turn fills them with confusion and guilt. These bills also increase the likelihood that LGBTQ young people will be bullied and mistreated by other students, and they limit the ability of school staff from being able to reach out and help LGBTQ students when they are in need. And since many Queer minors live in homes that are not LGBTQ affirming, it is not uncommon for them to want to turn to school counselors or teachers for help. But with these bills, Queer students who are in need will be less likely to do this for fear of backlash and intolerance, plus many teachers and counselors will be afraid of getting into trouble if they try to help. Also remember how 52% Transgender/Nonbinary youth considered suicide in the 2021 survey. Anti-Transgender laws that limit or even prevent the ability of doctors to provide health care (such as temporary puberty blockers that are reversible and proven to help Transgender youth) will increase that suicide rate. Anti-LGBTQ legislation such as these result in LGBTQ young people having to endure greater suffering than they already do which in turn increases their suicide rate.
It’s time for everyone to educate themselves and open their minds. Let go of intolerance and prejudice. Try to imagine what it’s like for other people and strive to provide support and acceptance to others, especially when they are in need.
So please join me in speaking out against these destructive, intolerant bills and laws so that we can work towards making this a better, more accepting society for all.
Feb 12, 2022
In the state of Florida, there are two education related bills (Senate Bill 1834 and House Bill 1557) being considered that would be seriously detrimental to LGBTQ youth to the point that if passed into law, their suicide rate would almost certainly increase. You may be wondering how I can make such a bold statement. Well, I can because it’s based on facts that I will explain.
The Trevor Project is a national organization which provides support for LGBTQ young people in crisis who may be considering suicide. In 2021, they conducted a nationwide survey of close to 35,000 LGBTQ young people (aged 13 to 24), and here are some key numbers that they found. 42% of LGBTQ youth had seriously considered suicide in the past year, and for transgender/nonbinary youth, that number was 52%. 72% of LGBTQ young people reported symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder in the previous two weeks, and only one in three indicated that they lived in an LGBTQ affirming home. In the past year, 48% said that they wanted professional counseling but had not received it, and LGBTQ youth who had been subjected to conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to attempt suicide when compared to those who had not been subjected to the barbaric practice.
Think about those numbers. I mean really think about them. And here’s another one to consider: of minors who have experienced homelessness, around 40% identify as LGBTQ. These statistics are scary and prove how far society still needs to go in terms of LGBTQ acceptance, understanding, and rights.
Now, let’s go back to the two bills I mentioned that critics are calling the “Don’t Say Gay” bills. They are dangerous because they place serious limitations on schools’ abilities to discuss and deal with LGBTQ issues. In their current form, they say, “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.” The latter part of this in particular is quite vague and could easily be abused so that older students would likely be affected as well. The result would be teachers being afraid to discuss LGBTQ history and issues which in turn would make LGBTQ students feel even more isolated, marginalized, and confused.
Another extremely disturbing part of the bills say, “critical decisions affecting a student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being” must be told to the parents. What this essentially means is that unless they can prove doing so would lead to harm (something that would be extremely difficult to do), school faculty would be required to out LGBTQ students to their parents whether the students were ready for this or not. Why is this important you may wonder? Well, go back to the numbers above, in particular the part where only one in three youth say they live in an LGBTQ affirming home. The fact is: many minors have parents who are very prejudiced against the LGBTQ Community, and because of this, many students are more likely to come out to a school counselor or teacher before they are ready to tell their prejudiced parents. If these bills become law, this important outlet for these students will be taken away.
The cold hard reality is that these bills, if passed into law, would certainly worsen situations for many LGBTQ youth (especially their mental health) as they became more isolated, marginalized, closeted, confused, and frightened. Instead of being able to seek out and receive support when they need it, too many would end up suffering in silence, afraid of anyone discovering their secret. This in turn would worsen quality of life and undoubtedly lead to increased suicide rates.
So I hope you will join me in spreading the word in opposing these bills as well as other anti-LGBTQ bills being pushed in states around the country because lives are literally at stake