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Responses to Hate

In a time when legislative, cultural, and physical attacks on transgender and nonbinary Americans are everywhere, it can be hard to maintain hope and resilience. To help you sustain yourself, each week, FORGE is sharing actions people are taking across the country to counter what is happening and build up our community.

 

May 15th-31st 2024

Bringing on the drag queens anyway

Even though a judge temporarily blocked a law banning drag queen performances, Pop star Hayley Kiyoko was warned by law enforcement on the day of her performance that she could not include drag queens in her Nashville concert because it was an all-ages audience. She did anyway.

Russell, J. (2023, May 3). Cops told Hayley Kiyoko she couldn’t have drag queens in her show. She brought them onstage anyway. LGBTQ Nation. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/05/cops-told-hayley-kiyoko-she-couldnt-have-drag-queens-in-her-show-she-brought-them-onstage-anyway/

 

Designating a Transgender History Month

The state of California has become the first U.S. state to establish a Transgender History Month, to be recognized in August beginning in 2024. Its sponsor said, “I believe that as Californians our strongest defense against the anti-trans agenda is just to tell the truth.”

Russell, J. (2023, September 7). California just became the first U.S. state to establish Transgender History Month. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/09/california-just-became-the-first-u-s-state-to-establish-transgender-history-month/ 

 

 

Filing a lawsuit

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit over Tennessee’s SB1, a bill that bans gender-affirming care for minors and forces others to detransition by March 2024. The lawsuit claims lawmakers “made comments reflecting moral disapproval or disbelief of youth who identify as transgender” while debating the bill, showing that it wasn’t based on science but instead on the lawmakers’ antipathy towards trans people. The lawsuit concludes that SB1 discriminates, was motivated by an intent to discriminate, and is administered in a discriminatory manner against a group of people defined by sex and transgender status while not achieving any legitimate state goal.

Bollinger, A. (2023, April 27). Biden administration sues Tennessee over trans gender-affirming care ban. LGBTQ Nation. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/04/biden-administration-sues-tennessee-over-trans-gender-affirming-care-ban/

Adopting a pseudonym and publish a book

Nonbinary, queer, Muslim and immigrant, Hijab Butch Blues author Lamya H decided that the best way to advocate for her various identities was to protect herself and her chosen and bio family by writing her memoir under a pseudonym.

 

 

May 1st-14th 2024

Appreciating trans workplace advancements

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 corporate equality index surveyed 1,200 companies and found:

  • 97% have protections for nonbinary and trans workers;
  • More than 660 have adopted gender-transition guidelines;
  • 66% of Fortune 500 companies have trans-inclusive health care benefits; and
  • 22 times as many employers offer trans-inclusive health care benefits now as there were in 2009.

Gonzales, M. (22023, March 30). Transgender inclusion at work reaches record numbers. SHRM.org. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/behavioral-competencies/global-and-cultural-effectiveness/pages/transgender-inclusion-at-work-reaches-record-numbers.aspx

Refusing to talk to a Child Protective Services official alone

If you are a child being investigated by Child Protective Services (CPS) at school, you are allowed to demand having a lawyer or guardian present.

McMenamin, L. (2023, March 31). How to stay safe as a trans student in school. Them. https://www.them.us/story/how-to-stay-safe-as-a-trans-student-in-school

 

 

Ordering banned books returned to shelves

Texas judge Robert Pitman ordered at least 12 books removed from Llano County public libraries because of their LGBTQ and racial content be returned to shelves and catalogues within 24 hours.

Elassar, A., Romine, T., and Rose, A. (2023, April 1). Judge orders books removed from Texas public libraries due to LGBTQ and racial content must be returned within 24 hours. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2023/04/01/us/texas-book-ban-removed-library-replaced-judge/index.html 

 

 

 

Moving to Florida

“’When your freedoms are literally being taken away, you have to fight,’ said Janelle Perez, who lives in Miami with her wife and two children. Her family fled to Florida from Cuba, and the efforts that they’ve made to build a life – a neighborhood full of siblings, devoted grandparents, supportive queer friends – are too immense to leave behind. ‘I’m not going to let these people push us out,’ she said. ‘We want people to come here and organize and support us.’ This echoes a sentiment shared by many parents and youth organizers. They work that if supportive adults leave the state, queer and trans children will be left to fend for themselves in an increasingly hostile environment.”

Hamilton, C. (2023, March 27). One year after ‘Don’t Say Gay,’ Florida parents say they’re enraged and afraid. Them. https://www.them.us/story/dont-say-gay-florida-ron-desantis-one-year-later

 

April 15th-30th 2024

Practicing civil disobedience and get arrested

Nineteen people were arrested during a protest over SB 150, a Kentucky omnibus anti-trans bill that the Governor vetoed and the legislature overrode.

Erin (2023, March 30). Kentucky Rep. Stevenson rebukes anti-trans law as protestors arrested in gallery in surreal scene. https://erininthemorn.substack.com/p/kentucky-rep-stevenson-rebukes-anti

 

 

Asking hard questions

Missouri State Representative Phil Christofanelli repeatedly asked his colleague Ann Kelley about Martha Washington and whether she could be discussed under her House Bill 634, which called for “No classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties relating to sexual orientation or gender identity shall occur.” After multiple exchanges, Kelley finally admitted that she didn’t know if her bill would affect discussions about George Washington’s wife.

Owen, G. (2023, March 7). State rep sponsoring Don’t Say Gay law gets skewered by her Republican colleague. LGBTQ Nation. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/03/state-rep-sponsoring-dont-say-gay-law-gets-skewered-by-her-republican-colleague/

Sending a letter to your sister city

Solvang (CA) was built to echo Copenhagen’s style. So Copenhagen’s mayor, Lord Mayor Sophie Haestorp Andersen, was not pleased when she “was informed that the local opposition to put up Pride flags around town was justified with regard to Danish values and transitions.” “That’s why I think it was incredibly important to kindly make aware that these are not values we can answer for in Copenhagen.”

Owen, G. (2023, May 2). Copenhagen’s mayor calls out tiny California town’s hostile Pride debate. LGBTQ Nation. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/05/copenhagens-mayor-calls-out-tiny-california-towns-hostile-pride-debate/

 

Testing a new anti-drag law

Florida’s new anti-drag bill (SB1438) passed with an amendment that subjects city officials to charges if they issue a permit for an event that exposes children to “adult live performances.” Wilton Manors Commissioner Chris Caputo announced he is going in drag as “Lady Vote” in his city’s Stonewall Pride Parade. “Personally, I don’t believe drag performances at our stonewall cultural event are illegal,” he wrote. “I believe they are of artistic and political value, and I am comfortable showing up in drag. If the Governor disagrees with that, he is welcome to recall my seat and we can fight it out in the courts.” “It’s an opportunity to clash with the Governor if he wants to push an abusive, inappropriate interpretation of the law and infringe on my civil rights.”

Geggis, A. (2023, May 19). Wilton Manors Pride event features Commissioner as “Lady Vote” testing new anti-drag law.  Florida Politics. https://floridapolitics.com/archives/613321-wilton-manors-pride-event-features-commissioner-as-lady-vote-testing-new-anti-drag-law/

 

April 1st-14th 2024

Supporting a fund for those criminalized for accessing gender-affirming healthcare

The Transgender Law Center has established a specific legal defense fund to provide resource for trans people facing investigation, arrest or prosecution for seeking healthcare. https://transgenderlawcenter.org/trans-health-legal-fund

 

Petitioning to ban the bible

A Utah parent, petitioning the Davis School District, has called the bible “one of the most sex-ridden books around,” and included 8 pages of passages the parent says are considered unacceptable under the book ban law. “Incest, onanism, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, dildos, rape, and even infanticide,” the parent noted. The requests was passed to the committee in charge of clearing books.

Russell, J. (2023, March 24). Book ban lawmaker ‘very sad’ that a parent is using his law to ban the ‘sex-ridden’ Bible. LGBTQ Nation. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/03/book-ban-sponsor-very-sad-that-parent-is-using-the-law-to-ban-the-sex-ridden-bible/

Downloading and reading the Equality Mental Health Toolkit

This attractively-designed, 32-page toolkit is designed for adults who want to support the mental health of LGBTQ+ youth, particularly in this time of cultural attack. Covers suicidal ideation and self-harm, addresses how to start the conversation, and includes many good resources.  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BNMHx7f6C0vWytSaFgS-Cl8wiQ6AQ0L4/view

Reminding yourself how much public support trans people have

71% of Kentuckians opposed SB 150, the omnibus anti-trans bill the governor vetoed and the legislature overrode.

Erin (2023, March 30). Kentucky Rep. Stevenson rebukes anti-trans law as protestors arrested in gallery in surreal scene. https://erininthemorn.substack.com/p/kentucky-rep-stevenson-rebukes-anti

Survey: “This is too much anti-trans legislation. Politicians are playing political theater and using these bills as a wedge issue”

  • All voters 64%
  • Democrats 72%
  • Independents 65%
  • Republicans 55%

Erin (2023, April 3). Bill gives Florida ‘Emergency Jurisdiction’ over trans kids in custody disputes, targets adult care. https://erininthemorn.substack.com/p/bill-gives-florida-emergency-jurisdiction

 

March 15th - 31st 2024

Joining PFLAG (in Texas)

 If you live in Texas, joining PFLAG will exempt your family from Child Protective Services investigations on the basis of supporting a trans child. It’s part of an injunction won by several legal advocacy groups.

McMenamin, L. (2023, March 31). How to stay safe as a trans student in school. Them. https://www.them.us/story/how-to-stay-safe-as-a-trans-student-in-school

 

Doubling the crowd

Even though a judge has ruled Tennessee’s drag queen ban unconstitutional because it was so “vague and substantially overbroad,” some of Tennessee’s attorneys general have decided the decision only applies to Shelby County, where the lawsuit was filed. That’s the background to Blount County District Attorney Ryan Desmond notifying Blout Pride Fest organizers that his office would prosecute anyone violating the law. Pride organizers filed a lawsuit against him, and the judge issued a temporary restraining order to prevent Desmond from interfering in any way with the Pride event, whose attendance doubled over 2022’s.

Villarreal, D. (2023, September 5). District attorney’s threat to drag performers doubles attendance of Pride event. LGBTQ Nation. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/09/district-attorneys-threat-to-drag-performers-doubles-attendance-of-pride-event/

 

Daring officials to arrest you

Maren Morris, a Texas-born country star, told the state of Tennessee to arrest her during a speech at a pro-LGBTQ concert just weeks after the state announced a ban on drag shows near schools: “And yes, I introduced my [2-year-old] son to some drag queens today, so Tennessee, f-king arrest me.”

Clark, Jeffrey (2023, March 22). Country star Maren Morris introduces toddler to drag queens: ‘So Tennessee, f-king arrest me’. Fox News. https://nypost.com/2023/03/22/maren-morris-introduces-her-toddler-to-drag-queens/

Devoting a show to supporting trans rights and ‘celebrat[ing] the beauty’ of LGBTQ Community

Madonna added eight more shows to her Celebration Tour, “with Nashville’s Dec. 22 stop specifically supporting trans rights.” The Nashville show will also feature Bob the Drag Queen, and a portion of its proceeds will go to various trans rights organizations.

Sullivan, M. (2023, March 27). Madonna adds Nashville tour stop to support trans rights, ‘celebrate the beauty’ of LGBTQ community.  Yahoo. https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/madonna-adds-nashville-tour-stop-150555611.html 

 

March 1st - 14th 2024

Having a designated helper

Fenway suggests working with school officials for a plan to support your trans child, including “who your child should seek out during the school day if they are feeling unsafe.”

Richgels, C., Cahill, S., Thompson, J., & Dunn, M. (2021.) State bills restricting access of transgender youth to health care, school facilities,, and school athletics threaten health and well-being: Policy Brief. Fenway, https://fenwayhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/Anti-trans-legislation-policy-brief-FINAL.pdf

Passing a sanctuary law

California has passed a “law that aims to stop other states from punishing children who come to California for transgender surgeries and other gender-affirming care.” “The law will block out-of-state subpoenas, stop health providers from sharing information with out-of-state entities related to gender-affirming care. And it would give California courts authority to make an initial child custody determination if the child is in California for the propose [sic] of obtaining gender-affirming care.” It is not clear whether the new law will stand given the Constitution’s “full faith and credit” provision.

Beam, A. (2022, September 30). New law aims to make California haven for transgender youth. AP. https://apnews.com/article/california-gender-identity-sacramento-gavin-newsom-1bef273ba60e61a17960eaf8107f37f6

Minnesota’s governor Tim Walz wasn’t willing to wait for legislation; he issued an extensive executive order “safe state law.” It requires insurance companies to cover trans care at the “modern standards of care,” which include facial feminization surgery, hair removal, prosthetics, etc. It prohibits discrimination in education. It also bans the use of any resources whatsoever in enacting out of state anti-trans laws against people who flee to Minnesota to obtain their care.

Erin (2023, March 9). Minnesota’s order makes it one of the safest for trans people fleeing criminalizing states. https://erininthemorn.substack.com/p/minnesotas-order-makes-it-one-of

In May 2022, LGBTQ elected officials from 19 states pledged to introduce trans refuge legislation.

Weiner, S. (2022, May 3). LGBTQ lawmakers in 19 states have or will introduce laws to protect trans kids from civil and criminal penalties when seeking gender-affirming care. California State Senate. https://sd11.senate.ca.gov/news/20220503-lgbtq-lawmakers-19-states-have-or-will-introduce-laws-protect-trans-kids-civil-and

Talking about the actual needs of children

Kentucky State Rep. Pamela Stevenson told colleagues when discussing a bill to limit health care for trans minors and punish providers that they were doing “irreparable damage” by not ensuring no Kentucky child went hungry, experience racism, getting water into rural areas, address child homelessness, etc.

Sager, R. (2023, March 7). Kentucky rep drops the mic on authors of bill restricting gender-affirming care for trans kids. Daily Kos, https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2023/3/7/2156715/-Kentucky-rep-drops-the-mic-on-authors-of-bill-restricting-gender-affirming-care-for-trans-kids

Confronting the Governor at the governor’s scholar award event

Transgender high school senior Clementine Springsteen yelled, “Trans rights are human rights” in front of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) while receiving the governor’s scholar award. Others also protested at the event, wearing a dress in the colors of the trans Pride flag and another wearing a shirt reading, “Trans Rights Are Human Rights.” Springsteen said, “I want to inconvenience her, to make her realize that this is an issue.”

Villarreal, D. (2023, May 4). Student yells “Trans rights are human rights’ in front of Iowa’s anti-trans governor. LGBTQ Nation. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/05/student-yells-trans-rights-are-human-rights-in-front-of-iowas-anti-trans-governor/

 

February 15th-28th 2024

Hosting a drag telethon

Drag Isn’t Dangerous telethon will feature a cast of drag superstars raising money for various LGBTQ+ charities in a one-night-only telethon.

Factora, J. (2023, March 22). Your favorite drag artists are hosting a telethon against drag bans. Them. https://www.them.us/story/drag-isnt-drangerous-telethon-bans

Supporting a lay lobbyist

Washington’s Gender Justice League pays $500 to each advocacy team member. “Whenever you speak in-person in front of a legislative committee, it brings feelings to the room. You get to see people’s comfort levels and build upon them.”  — Nicki, advocacy team member

 

Organizing State Attorneys General

16 State Attorneys General wrote Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to condemn his request that state universities complete a survey of the number of students who have accessed treatments for gender dysphoria, including gender reassignment surgeries and hormone prescriptions. Ages of the involved students were also requested.

Chen, S. (2023, March 4). 16 AGs condemn DeSantis’ request for info on transgender care from colleges. AXIOS. https://www.axios.com/2023/03/04/desantis-transgender-health-care-university

 

Suing for defamation

Blogger Summer Bushnell doctored a video of Idaho drag queen Eric Posey (who performs as Mona Liza Million) dancing at Coeur d’Alene’s 2022 Pride in the Park event. By blurring Posey’s groin, the video suggested he had exposed himself. Authorities found no crime, but Posey is suing Bushnell for defamation.

Russell, J. (2022, September 28). A rightwing blogger accused a Black drag queen of exposing herself. Now the queen is suing. LGBTQ Nation. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2022/09/rightwing-blogger-accused-black-drag-queen-exposing-now-queen-suing/

Making a donation and turning the news off

In an opinion piece entitled, “Hyperfocusing on new anti-trans bills may hurt more than it helps,” Katelyn Burns suggests: “If you are in a solidly blue state, I suggest disconnecting yourself from the constant fire hose of political news. Yes, we’re programmed to want to help and need to be aware  of escalations in the fight for our rights. But you’re better off finding a red-state trans-led organization or a national trans legal organization to donate to than losing precious sleep and sanity obsessing over every news cycle.”

Burns, K. (2023, January 31). Hyperfocusing on new anti-trans bills may hurt more than it helps. MSNBC.com. https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/hyperfocusing-new-anti-trans-bills-may-hurt-helps-rcna68398

 

February 1st-14th 2024

Signing an executive order protecting access to care

New York Mayor Eric Adams has signed an executive order that will protect access to transgender care by preventing the use of city resources to detain, prosecute or investigate any individual who is providing or receiving gender-affirming health care services. He remarked, “This executive order reaffirms the fact that hate has no place in our city and that all people deserve the right to gender-affirming care and protection against prosecution for being who they are.”

Alfonseca, K. (2023, June 12). New York City mayor signs executive order to protect access to gender-affirming care. ABC News. https://abcnews.go.com/US/new-york-city-mayor-eric-adams-signs-executive/story?id=100011972

 

Draw parallels

Transgender Education Network of Texas – TENT – ran an education campaign using trans people and allies pictured with their pets. “In Texas, pets are protected by well-developed legislation and policies, whereas their trans owners and other trans individuals are not.”

Passing positive legislation

Illinois signed into law a multi-part measure that requires health insurers to provide coverage, with no copays, for gender-affirming hormone medications.

McKinney, D. (2023, January 13). Pritzker signs an abortion law protecting Illinois providers and out-of-state patients. WBEZ. https://www.wbez.org/stories/pritzker-signs-an-abortion-law-protecting-out-of-state-patients/48c2693b-9758-4993-ad2c-3d20cfa8fbc0

Substituting a pro-trans statement for scheduled release

Gay fetishwear brand Nasty Pig was supposed to issue a letter about the brand’s spring/summer collection, but CEO and founder David Lauterstein instead wrote to  urge the brand’s followers “to understand the gravity of this [anti-trans} legislation and how it affects our whole queer community.”

Factora, J. (2023, March 13). Kum & Go is not afraid to say ‘trans rights.’ Them. https://www.them.us/story/kum-and-go-trans-rights

 

January 15th-28th 2024

Letting the kids be heroes

At a Youngstown, Ohio Pride celebration, a man stood up in the audience with a megaphone yelling “pervert,” etc. The drag artist started singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which the audience joined in on, and then “In the end he ran off, pursued not by parents, not by security, but by queer and nonbinary teenagers. They were wearing Pride flags as capes, like the heroes that they are.”

Owen, G. (2023, February 20). These three drag queens have been targeted by the far-right. LGBTQ Nation. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/02/these-three-drag-queens-have-been-targeted-by-the-far-right/

Sharing Hug Blankets and Hug Coins

Penzey’s spices donates to charity Hug Blankets and Hug Coins whenever one is bought. Trans Pride Initiative in Texas gives theirs away to trans children and youth. https://www.penzeys.com/online-catalog/hug-coin/c-24/p-3266/pd-s ; https://www.penzeys.com/online-catalog/hug-blanket/c-24/p-3281/pd-s

Trans Pride Initiative: https://tpride.org/

Sending in a national lawyer

ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio testified in Tennessee, giving them the dollar figures (in the millions) that litigation has cost Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas over their anti-trans legislation, and quoted the bill’s “specific lines [that] have been found untrue in court.” Bill did pass subcommittee.

Erin (2023, February 1). ‘Tennessee will not be able to defend this,’ ACLU’s Chase Strangio testifies against anti-trans bill.” https://erininthemorn.substack.com/p/tennessee-will-not-be-able-to-defend

Being public about your lobbying and support

Midwestern gas station convenience store chain Kum & Go has tweeted its support of trans kids, had their lobbyists publicly lobby against every anti-trans bill in Iowa, and has on multiple occasions raised funds for trans rights.

Factora, J. (2023, March 13). Kum & Go is not afraid to say ‘trans rights.’ Them. https://www.them.us/story/kum-and-go-trans-rights

 

January 1st-14th 2024

Participating in School Walkouts

In February, the Florida College Democrats and the group Dream Defenders organized a one-hour walkout at colleges throughout Florida. They were protesting Governor DeSantis’s anti-education, anti-diversity, and anti-trans actions. DeSantis has requested information from universities about “persons suffering from gender dysphoria” who have received care at campus clinics.

O’Connor, L. (2023, February 23). Florida students stage walkout over Ron DeSantis’ anti-trans, anti-diversity policies. Huffington Post. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/florida-college-walkout-desantis_n_63f7a52de4b0e2590d423d36

Students at Central High School in Nebraska walked out in support of a massive filibuster tying up the Nebraska legislature. 

Erin (2023, April 1). ‘Stand up fight back!’ – Trans day of visibility brings huge crowds, court victories. https://erininthemorn.substack.com/p/stand-up-fight-back-trans-day-of

Writing an op-ed

ACLU Lawyer Chase Strangio wrote an op-ed, “The New York Times’ dehumanizing trans double down – and its consequences,” that was published by MSNBC.com (February 22, 2023) https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/new-york-trans-coverage-jk-rowling-controversy-consequences-rcna71615

Participating in Jan 15 #TransphobiaIsASin Campaign

To participate in the annual #TransphobiaIsASin campaign, take a photo of yourself with a sign saying one of the following: “Transphobia is a Sin,” “Transphobia is Haram,” “Trans People are Divine,” or “Trans People Exist Because Our Ancestors Existed.” Use the hashtag #TransphobiaIsASin and post on social media on January 15.

Greenfield, B. (2023, February 28). “Trans people go to dances and find joy and are whole”: A mom’s viral photos of her daughter send a powerful message. Yahoo!life. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/mom-viral-photos-transgender-daughter-powerful-message-173956015.html

Filibustering

Nebraska State Senator Machaela Cavanaugh has promised, “If this legislature collectively decides that legislating hate against children [anti-trans laws] is our priority, then I am going to make it painful; painful for everyone [by filibustering].” She did, for over a week.

Migdon, Brooke (2023, February 24). State lawmaker vows to filibuster all bills until GOP withdraws abortion, gender-affirming care bans. The Hill.  https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/3873156-state-lawmaker-vows-to-filibuster-all-bills-until-gop-withdraws-abortion-gender-affirming-care-bans/

Erin (2023, March 11). Anti-trans legislative digest: drag bans, bounty hunters, and more. https://erininthemorn.substack.com/p/anti-trans-legislative-digest-drag

Nebraska State Senator Machaela Cavanugh filibustered for three weeks, “utilizing tactics such as dropping amendments onto bills and using up all floor hours for debate for every single amendment and bill that comes across her desk.”

In Missouri, Senators Razer, Beck, McCreery, and Arthur filibustered “all the way up until the legislative Spring Break in Missouri. Seeing no chance at passing any legislation, leadership called the break a day early.”

Erin (2023, March 15). Filibusters grind anti-trans bills in Missouri and Nebraska to a halt – here are the legislators standing up for trans kids. https://erininthemorn.substack.com/p/filibusters-grind-anti-trans-bills

“After Missouri Senate Democrats spent more than five hours filibustering a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for minors, the GOP-controlled Senate on Wednesday delayed a vote on the bill and adjourned for more than a week.”

Bayless, K. (2023, March 8). Missouri Democrats block vote on transgender care ban, force MO Senate to adjourn early.” The Kansas City Star. https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article272861995.html

December 18th-30th 2023

Collecting postcards

656 postcards were collected and delivered to Wyoming lawmakers in the first successful red trifecta states to vote down a trans health care limitation bill.

Erin, (2023, February 23). Trans activists score major victory in Wyoming, defeat healthcare ban in a red state for the first time in 2023. https://erininthemorn.substack.com/p/trans-activists-score-major-victory

 Promoting parents’ rights

Judges who have ruled trans-affirming care bans unconstitutional have done so in part by citing parental rights, ruling that the right of parents to make informed decisions about their children’s medical care is fundamental, meriting strict scrutiny. Under this heightened judicial standard any legislation that curtails such rights must be narrowly tailored and supported by an exceptionally persuasive rationale. The judges ruled that the care bans do not have that exceptionally persuasive rationale.

Reed, E. (2023, June 29). KY, TN judges debunk anti-trans arguments and block bans: The stunning opinions. Erin in the Morning. https://www.erininthemorning.com/p/ky-tn-judges-debunk-anti-trans-arguments

Pointing out the hypocrisy

Republican Massachusetts secretary of state candidate Rayla Campbell waved a book “by an asexual and non-binary author that she claimed was ‘child pornography’ and said it should be banned from schools. Since she effectively admitted to being in possession of child pornography, someone called the police. An officer looked through the book and determined that it was not child pornography and she was not arrested.”

Bollinger, A. (2023, Feb. 15). George Santos & Marjorie Taylor Green cosponsor federal book ban bill. LGBTQ Nation. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/02/george-santos-marjorie-taylor-greene-cosponsor-federal-book-ban-bill/

Calling for a boycott

Citing “outright insulting” New York Times’s responses to letters of complaint, activist Erin Reed called for a boycott of the newspaper, giving readers multiple ways in which they could cancel their subscription.

Erin (2023, February 17). I signed a critical NYT trans letter. Their response is insulting. https://erininthemorn.substack.com/p/i-signed-a-critical-nyt-tran-letter.

December 1st-16th 2023

Introducing anti-religious indoctrination legislation

Nebraska State Senator Megan Hunt (D) has responded to a proposed no-drag bill by filing a parallel bill: “The Legislature finds that there is a well documented history of indoctrination and sexual abuse perpetrated by religious leaders and clergy people upon children. Abusers within churches and other religious institutions often use events like church or youth-group-sponsored camps and retreats to earn children’s trust and gain unsupervised access to such children in order to commit such abuse.”

Sprayregen, M. (2023, January 30). Democrat files bill to ban church youth camps as hotbeds of child abuse & “religious indoctrination.” LGBTQ Nation.  https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/01/democrat-files-bill-to-ban-church-youth-camps-as-hotbeds-of-child-abuse-religious-indoctrination/

Knowing your rights at school

Southern Poverty Law Center is among those advocacy groups that provide know your rights materials for trans and/or LGBTQ people in school. This one’s a website and includes your rights in foster care: https://www.splcenter.org/know-your-rights-students-lgbtq-rights-school

Letting them fail

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene held an anti-trans rally January 11, 2023 at the Capitol. Only 12 or so people attended – most well-known anti-trans advocates – and no major media outlets covered it.

Villarreal, D. (2023, January 13). Marjorie Taylor Greene held an anti-trans rally at the Capitol and almost no one came. LGBTQ Nation, https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/01/marjorie-taylor-greene-held-anti-trans-rally-capitol-almost-no-one-came/

Helping families move overseas

50-year-old Rynn Azerial Willgohs has founded TRANSport, a nonprofit that will help trans people (particularly from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota) relocated overseas. She was motivated to do so by a hate crime and the Dobbs decision.

Villareal, D. (2023, January 15). A trans woman founded a group to help trans people leave the U.S. due to rising hate.  LGBTQ Nation. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/01/trans-woman-founded-group-help-trans-people-leave-u-s-due-rising-hate/

Passing refuge legislation

19 states have legislation that would shield trans kids and their parents from penalties for seeking gender-affirming care.  California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia

Wiener, S. (n.d.) Press release: LGBTQ lawmakers in 19 states have or will introduce laws to protect trans kids from civil and criminal penalties when seeking gender-affirming care. https://sd11.senate.ca.gov/news/20220503-lgbtq-lawmakers-19-states-have-or-will-introduce-laws-protect-trans-kids-civil-and

October 16th-28th 2023

Using the Save the Rainbow Flag toolkit

The Save the Rainbow Flag toolkit includes the basics to get started in your community, like the ACLU’s open letter, Gilbert Baker Foundation’s statement, logo and poster files, and sample letters for local officials. Download here: https://gilbertbaker.com/save-the-rainbow-flag-toolkit/   

Publishing an op-ed

Some individuals and newspaper staff have taken to raising awareness about anti-trans issues by publishing op-ed pieces. Read an article from Iowa’s Gazette on the harmful bills impacting the LGBTQ community:

Iowa’s Gazette op ed: Iowa Republicans must drop harmful LGBTQ bills. 1/21/2023  https://www.thegazette.com/staff-editorials/iowa-republicans-must-drop-harmful-lgbtq-bills/ 

Increasing funding to drag queen story hour

NYC Council Members who have been harassed at home and at work for their support of Drag Queen Story Hour NYC are planning on increasing their funding of the group through their discretionary funds. 

Stark-Miller, E. (2023, February 3). Council members look to increase funding for Drag Story Hour, refuse to cower to far-right protesters. AM New York. https://www.amny.com/politics/council-members-look-to-increase-funding-for-drag-story-hour-refuse-to-cower-to-far-right-protesters/

Signing “A Better Texas for All Texans” Pledge

Texans can get involved in supporting trans, nonbinary, and LGBTQ+ communities by signing “A Better Texas for All Texans” Pledge, which includes respect for LGBTQ+ people as essential to “promoting a competitive, economically vibrant Texas.”  https://www.texascompetes.net/pledge/  

October 1st-14th 2023

Doing an injection in public

25-year-old Lindsey Spero gave himself his weekly hormone shot in front of the Florida Board of Medicine and the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine, which were debating a trans care ban. He said: “I’m going to take the rest of my time to demonstrate the sacred and weekly ritual of my shot in front of you in this body. My medication is lifesaving… Your denial of my need for this medication doesn’t make my existence as a trans person any less real.”

Sprayregen, M. (2023, Feb. 15) Trans activist injects testosterone in front of board at hearing to protest trans health care ban. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/02/trans-activist-injects-testosterone-in-front-of-board-at-hearing-to-protest-trans-health-care-ban/

Getting on clinic waitlists

If your state has or may outlaw gender-affirming care, think about getting on the waiting list of a clinic in a neighboring state. Dianne Piggott of the Transgender Health Program at Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland notes that Idahoans face an 8-12 month waiting list for kids referred by another doctor, and urges people to get that referral and start the process immediately.

Issuing a presidential proclamation

On Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, 2023, President Joe Biden issued a Presidential Proclamation that addressed anti-trans state legislation in several ways: “A wave of discriminatory state laws is targeting Transgender youth, terrifying families and hurting kids who are not hurting anyone….[T]he Department of Justice is pushing back against extreme laws that seek to ban evidence-based gender-affirming health care…. Together, we also have to keep challenging the hundreds of hateful state laws that have been introduced across the country…”

“America is founded on the idea that all people are created equal and deserve to be treated equally throughout their lives. We have never fully lived up to that, but we have never walked away from it either. Today, as we celebrate Transgender people, we also celebrate every American’s fundamental right to be themselves, bringing us closer to realizing America’s full promise.”

Lavers, M. (2023, March 30). Biden recognizes Transgender Day of Visibility. Washington Blade. https://www.washingtonblade.com/2023/03/30/biden-issues-transgender-day-of-visibility-proclamation/

 Making your city a safe haven

Kansas City – in Missouri, which has passed multiple anti-trans laws – has approved a “resolution that directs City personnel to not criminally prosecute or impose administrative penalties on an individual or organization for providing, seeking, receiving, or assisting another individual who is seeking gender-affirming healthcare. If a law is put into place by the State of Missouri that imposes criminal punishment, civil liability, administrative penalties, or professional sanctions on an individual or organization against gender-affirming healthcare, staff is directed to make this their lowest priority. The Kansas City, Missouri Police Department is encouraged to adopt a similar policy.”

City of Kansas City (2023, May 11). Press release: Safe haven for transgender residents: Policy to protect Transgender residents approved. https://www.kcmo.gov/Home/Components/News/News/2040/1746 

September 18th-30th 2023

Testifying before the legislature

Three religious families with trans kids have testified at the Missouri legislature, which considered at least 31 anti-trans bills this year. One father said he had come to believe the best – and possibly only – hope for heading off aggressive anti-trans bills is to humanize the children and their families to help lawmakers understand they are scarcely different from their own.

Cha, Ariana Eunjung (2023, February 28). ‘Our state is at war with our family’: Clergy with trans kids fight back. The Washington Post Magazine. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2023/02/28/missouri-transgender-bills/ 

Speaking directly to trans kids

Nebraska state Senator John Fredrickson, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, found his voice cracking as he emotionally recalled his mother’s acceptance and said, “To my LGBTQ family, I spoke to you at the beginning of the week, and I’ll speak to you again. Regardless of what happens today, heads up. Chins up. We’re survivors. Me standing in this room is proof of that.” 

Browning, B. (2023, March 24). Gay legislator breaks down in tears as he apologizes to trans people for disgusting GOP colleagues. LGBTQ Nation. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/03/gay-legislator-breaks-down-in-tears-as-he-apologizes-to-trans-people-for-disgusting-gop-colleagues/

Using Instagram to organize volunteers

An LGBTQ-owned Montana Book Company in Helena posted on Instagram asking for as many people as possible to show up when their Drag Story Hour was threatened on social media by an Oath Keeper. A drag queen appealed to crowds at other events where she was performing. On the day of the event, “groups of veterans and former law enforcement officers, in addition to about one hundred community supporters” played music and danced before fewer than one dozen anti-LGBTQ protestors.

Sprayregen, M. (2022, October 1). Bookstore mobilized supportive allies to protect Drag Story Hour from rightwing militia. LGBTQ Nation. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2022/09/bookstore-mobilized-supportive-allies-protect-drag-story-hour-rightwing-militia/ 

Outlawing book bans

Saying, “Here in Illinois, we don’t hide from the truth, we embrace it,” Governor JB Pritzker made Illinois the first state to make it illegal for libraries to ban books. “Everyone deserves to see themselves reflected in the books they read, the art they see, the history they learn. In Illinois, we are showing the nation what it really looks like to stand up for liberty.” The law removes funding from libraries if they remove books from the shelf based on someone’s personal or partisan disapproval.

Sprayregen, M. (2023, June 13). Illinois becomes the first state to outlaw book bans in historic move. LGBTQ Nation. https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/06/illinois-becomes-the-first-state-to-outlaw-book-bans-in-historic-move-for-free-speech-rights/

 

How do you stand up to anti-trans hate? Let us know!

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