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.
For people who are transgender, non-binary, genderfluid, genderqueer, and so on (I’m using the term trans+ for this group to make this conversation easier), these are extremely disturbing and frequently painful times. This is due to the fact that so many people are openly making transphobic remarks and actions in addition to which a significant portion of the Republican Party is pushing extremely transphobic legislation that is knowingly infringing on trans+ rights.
To better understand why transphobia is so deeply hurtful, let’s take a look at some numbers. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), 29% of transgender people live in poverty, and only 22% have health care insurance. 54% have been the victims of domestic abuse, yet only 30% of women’s shelters are willing to house transgender women. 47% of transgender individuals have been sexually assaulted, and during the years 2014 to 2015, 1 in 10 were physically assaulted. Now here are some other numbers from a nationwide survey of nearly 35,000 LGBTQ individuals aged 13 to 24 conducted by the Trevor Project in 2021. During the 12 months before the survey, 42% of this group said they had seriously considered suicide, and for transgender youth, that number went up to 52%. 72% of the LGBTQ youth surveyed indicated that they had symptoms of general anxiety disorder, and only one in three said they lived in a LGBTQ affirming home.
Think about those numbers for a minute. Really think about them. 52% of transgender youth had seriously considered suicide in a 12-month period. That number is sickeningly high and is indicative of the intolerance and prejudice trans+ people must face on a regular basis. Whether coming from everyday people, movies, books, TV shows, or from well known individuals (such as JK Rowling, Dave Chappelle, Ron DeSantis, and others), transphobic comments and actions contribute to the tragically and dangerously high numbers I referenced above because they encourage other people to have intolerant attitudes towards the trans+ community.
Making things even worse is how much of the Republican Party is encouraging transphobic attitudes as it pushes anti-transgender laws in states around the country. Despite the fact that major medical associations in the United States support gender affirming care of transgender minors, Republicans are trying to ban such care in states around the country. Such bans will worsen the suffering of transgender youth and will absolutely increase their suicide rates.
People need to educate themselves and open their minds with regards to trans+ individuals and the LGBTQ community in general. For example, studies have shown that gender affirming care for trans+ under 18 years of age is extremely beneficial, improves quality of life, and thus lowers suicide rates. Decisions on what care will be provided include the individual in question, their parents, their doctors, and typically involve things like puberty blockers (puberty blockers are reversible). In other words, gender affirming care is not done willy-nilly, and actual surgery is extremely rare for individuals under 18.
So people need to stop believing the extremist, prejudiced fear mongering that’s coming from the far right. Everyone needs to learn, open their minds, and call out transphobic comments, actions, and behavior whenever possible. Another vitally important thing to do is vote against politicians who are promoting ignorance, prejudice, and hate with regards to trans+ people.
It’s time to try to make this a better world for everyone, and that includes the trans+ community too.
I think it’s way past time to move on from Harry Potter because JK Rowling’s numerous transphobic comments have been, and continue to be, extremely hurtful to the transgender community. And the thing that makes it worse is that she continues to double down on her transphobic positions instead of opening her mind and trying to become more supportive to the transgender community.
Transgender people are hurting these days because of intolerant, ignorant, and prejudiced attitudes coming from so much of society. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), 29% of transgender adults live in poverty in the United States, and 22% are lacking health care insurance. 54% have been the victims of domestic violence, yet only 30% of women’s shelters are willing to house transgender women. 47% of transgender people have been sexually assaulted, and during the years 2014 and 2015, 1 in 10 were physically assaulted.
So it’s clear that the transgender community needs support and understanding from society. This is why JK Rowling’s ongoing transphobic comments and positions are so deeply hurtful and damaging. There are examples of celebrities who have made troubling, intolerant comments who later made genuine efforts to educate themselves, open their minds, recognize what they had said was hurtful, and try to become supportive allies. But Rowling has not done this. Instead, she has doubled down on her transphobic comments and positions despite the fact that doing so hurts innocent people.
So it’s time that we put Harry Potter in the past because I don’t think JK Rowling deserves any more of our money. Like it or not, supporting Harry Potter (such as buying the books, movies, or other merchandise) is also supporting JK Rowling because she created the series and is still intricately connected with the franchise. She has become extremely wealthy from Harry Potter, so much so that her current net worth is estimated at around 1 billion dollars. She doesn’t need any more money, and frankly, because of her ongoing transphobic behavior, I don’t think she deserves any more. A clear way to send a message to someone like JK Rowling is to stop supporting the thing that has made them wealthy and famous, and in this case, that is Harry Potter. I’m not going to buy her books or watch her movies. I don’t want her to get a penny of my money. We can also make our voices heard with companies that profit from Harry Potter such as HBO. There have been rumors that HBO is considering a Harry Potter series. We should contact HBO and tell them we are categorically against such a move due to JK Rowling’s transphobic behavior. As a matter of fact, I’ve already sent HBO several messages about this. Remember, when you speak up, be thoughtful and considerate in what you say and be sure you can back up your positions with facts. Don’t spew out hurtful, personal attacks because doing so is wrong and also backfires since people will tune you out and ignore you.
Together, we can make a difference in creating positive change. So let’s make that happen.
I’m bisexual+ and genderfluid, and as such, I’ve learned from first hand experience how much intolerance, prejudice, and lack of understanding there is against individuals who are bisexual+, genderfluid, genderqueer, nonbinary, transgender, asexual, intersex, and so on (BTNIA for short) from both inside and outside the LGBTQ Community. Unfortunately, experiencing intolerance from cisgender, straight people is not a surprise despite the fact it’s the 21st century. But having to deal with it from fellow members of the LGBTQ Community can be even more painful since we wanted to believe that we’d at least find acceptance from other LGBTQs. But acceptance even here is not always the case. And let me tell you, it really hurts and can adversely affect innocent people’s lives.
Why is there still so much intolerance against BTNIA individuals? Lack of understanding is a big factor I would say. People often fear, are intolerant towards, and shun what they see as too different and don’t understand. They are more likely to listen to unfair stereotypes and jump to premature conclusions that they then base future behavior on. This is compounded by the problem of how so many individuals only seek out people, groups, information sites, etc that agree with them and shun or ignore those that don’t. This sort of behavior reinforces close-mindedness and ends up seriously hurting innocent people (in this case, BTNIA individuals) who are seen as too different.
The result is many of us who are BTNIA feel isolated and alone without a sense of community, and trust me when I say that this can be brutally hard. Human beings are social creatures as a species, so feeling like we don’t belong anywhere usually goes against our nature. A great number of BTNIA people suffer in the closet as a consequence, afraid of what might happen if their secret was discovered. Others who are out often find dating extremely difficult (sometimes near impossible) so that it’s common to find BTNIA individuals grappling with the very strong likelihood that we’ll never find someone special and that we’ll always be alone. Establishing close, genuine friendships can be terribly difficult too since we are often seen as at least a bit too different.
It’s way past time for people to open their minds and educate themselves. To push outside their comfort zones and learn about other people who are different from themselves. They should seek out information from a variety of different sources, not just from those that agree with them. And they need to stop automatically believing stereotypes that are frequently unfair and not true for many BTNIA individuals.
If more people would open their minds, it would help BTNIA individuals live happier, more fulfilling lives, and it would also help those individuals who are opening their minds to live better lives themselves.
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.
Think about the fact that transgender women are four times more likely to be murdered than cisgender women. I mean really think about that. It’s heartbreaking, disgraceful, and a real sign that intolerance and prejudice are still far too common in today’s society.
It begs the question: why?
Why are so many people so intolerant towards others just because they are different from themselves.
People often are uncomfortable with, fear, and sometimes even hate things that are different and that they don’t understand. While some strive to overcome this by opening their minds and educating themselves, others don’t and sometimes sink further into prejudice and hate.
The current state of affairs needs to change. People should open their minds and educate themselves. They also need to stop automatically believing stereotypes that are frequently untrue. So I’m going to use this piece to try to educate people on some terms and ideas that many in today’s society don’t have a good grasp on. And I’m going to be clear about the fact that I am queer myself having a fluid sexuality (bisexual+) and a fluid gender (genderfluid).
A transgender person is an individual who identifies as a different gender than the physical body the person was born with. For example: a transgender woman was born physically male but identifies as a woman. Transitioning is the process of trying to get her physical body to match how she identifies. A non-binary person is someone who doesn’t identify as either male or female. They don’t relate with the traditional male/female binary. A genderfluid individual is someone whose gender identity is fluid (a mixture of male, female, and in between); how much they feel one way as compared to others can fluctuate. Thus, the fluid aspect of the term. Genderqueer refers to individuals who don’t subscribe (either fully or in part) to the traditional gender binary. Bisexuality refers to the potential to be attracted to more than one gender (male, female, non-binary, etc) while pansexuality is attraction to someone regardless of that person’s gender (like gender doesn’t matter in a way). Bisexual+ (bi+) is an umbrella term used to describe anyone who can be attracted to more than one gender (or regardless of gender), whatever term(s) they prefer (bisexual, pansexual, fluid, etc). Queer is essentially a catch-all word referring to anyone who is LGBTQ+. Clearly, there is overlap and interconnection with some of these terms, and many people will use more than one to describe themselves.
People who are bi+, transgender, genderfluid, non-binary, genderqueer, and so on are living, breathing human beings who deserve open-mindedness, tolerance, decency, and respect. We are not disturbed or diseased. We are not a bunch of confused, cheating sex maniacs. We want to live happy, productive lives just like everyone else. We want to have friendship and love too. As to romance, most of us are monogamous individuals while others choose polyamorous or open relationship lifestyles.
So please, take some time to educate yourselves and open your minds. Be respectful of others and don’t automatically be intolerant against someone just because they are different from you.
I’m going to be up front about the fact that I am queer with a fluid sexuality (bisexual+) and a fluid gender (genderfluid). As such, I unfortunately have first-hand experience about how so many cisgendered people often have a serious lack of understanding with regards to genderfluid, genderqueer, non-binary, and transgender (GfNT) individuals. This in turn leads to intolerance and prejudice.
Maybe I should start with explaining who we are. A transgender person is an individual who identifies as a different gender than the physical body the person was born with. For example: a transgender woman was born physically male but identifies as a woman. Transitioning is the process of trying to get her physical body to match how she identifies. A non-binary person is someone who doesn’t identify as either male or female. They don’t relate with the traditional male/female binary. A genderfluid individual is someone whose gender identity is fluid. A mixture of male, female, and in between. How much they feel one way as compared to the others can fluctuate one minute to the next. Thus, the fluid aspect of the term. Genderqueer refers to individuals who don’t subscribe (either fully or in part) to the traditional gender binary. Clearly, there is overlap and interconnection with some of these terms, and many GfNT people will use more than one to describe themselves.
Often, people fear, ridicule, and make fun of things that they don’t understand or are uncomfortable with. This is especially common among cisgendered individuals with regards to GfNT people. But when a person makes fun of and ridicules a community that is hurting and suffering, it worsens the pain and intolerance that community is already being forced to endure. It reinforces and exacerbates the lack of understanding and prejudice that is so pervasive in this society.
Consider this: many GfNT people are afraid to use public restrooms because of the risk of verbal and even physical abuse. Using public restrooms is something cisgendered people take for granted. Dating is another area that GfNT individuals such as myself often find brutally difficult because most cisgendered people won’t even consider dating us, even if they were interested before realizing our gender identity. The result of all this is that too many GfNT people feel very isolated and alone. Studies have shown that the transgender community suffers higher rates of depression and suicide than the cisgendered community. This is obviously connected to intolerance, prejudice, lack of understanding, isolation, and loneliness.
For things to get better, people need to educate themselves and open their minds. Put themselves in other people’s shoes so to speak. Imagine being afraid of the simple act of using a public restroom. Think about how hard it would be going through life feeling isolated and alone because you are trying to be true to who you are. If more members of the cisgender community would do this, perhaps there would be fewer ridiculing and making hurtful jokes about the GfNT community.
Where in the hell did all this hate come from?
I’d really like to know.
It’s the 21st century, and one would hope that we’ve come a long ways as a species. And while there are people who are tolerant, open-minded, and compassionate, it seems there are many these days who are full of intolerance and prejudice. And what’s even more disheartening is how they seem more vocal and are even trying to pass laws based on their intolerance. This latter is particularly disturbing and frankly disgraceful because it harms innocent human beings.
Think about that. People are trying to pass laws that will harm innocent human beings. And that’s exactly what is happening with these anti-Transgender laws that many Republicans are trying to pass in states throughout the country. And Transgender kids are a particular target with these proposed laws.
They’re targeting kids for goodness sakes!
Kids who are already struggling as they try to be who they are and how they want to live their lives. Far too many Transgender kids are already the victims terrible bullying in school from other kids, and on top of that, a great number also have to deal with intolerant teachers who don’t use the correct pronouns and look at them with derision and even disgust. Such incessant, vicious bullying and treatment are major reasons why Transgender kids have higher suicide rates. They need encouragement, support, and help. Not more bullying, intolerance, and hate.
Yet many Republicans are trying to pass laws that would make the lives of Transgender kids even more difficult by doing things like banning them from participating in sports with the teams that match their preferred gender. What’s even worse is that several of these laws prevent doctors from prescribing medical therapies that help Transgender kids in their journey to be who they truly are. An example of this is how several of these laws prevent doctors from prescribing puberty blockers. Puberty blockers are medications that are entirely reversible and give a Transgender kid time to discover who they are and want to be. We’re not talking about surgery. Doctors are not performing gender surgeries on minors. We’re talking about medication which is reversible and that research proves support and improve the lives of many Transgender kids.
People who are pushing these anti-Transgender laws clearly do not understand what being Transgender is all about. Yet instead of trying to educate themselves, they are working to pass laws based on their ignorance, intolerance, and prejudice against Transgender individuals.
This is so sick and wrong. It makes the lives of Transgender kids even more difficult and will increase the likelihood that some will commit suicide. To be frank, those who pass anti-Transgender laws will have blood on their hands.
It’s time for all of us to speak up in support of the Transgender community and against these horrible anti-Transgender bills. Put pressure on politicians who are pursuing such disgraceful legislation. And when they come up for re-election, vote them out of office.
It’s time for people to open their minds and their hearts. Educate themselves and strive to be more compassionate and understanding of others, even when those individuals are different from themselves.