Let’s get the obvious out of the way: This has been a colossally rough week for LGBTQ+ youth, especially transgender young people and their families.
The Texas Attorney General’s actions classifying trans affirmation as “child abuse” make me sick to my stomach. A wide range of vile bills – including those that would institute censorship in schools, anti-trans bathroom restrictions, sports exclusion for trans youth, and broad healthcare discrimination – have advanced in just the last few days, mostly in the South. And the outcry from the LGBTQ+ young people in my life has been absolutely heartbreaking.
Like many of my friends and colleagues, my emotions are vacillating intensely, from crestfallen to motivated to so damn angry. I am livid at these extreme lawmakers who think they can treat trans lives with such disregard. I find myself hoping that they don’t understand how reckless and harmful their actions are – but really, in my gut, I feel like these actions are calculated to inflict damage.
I want to send love to every trans young person being exposed to headline after headline of the myriad ways that elected officials are attempting to silence, erase, and marginalize them. I want to stand in front of every queer youth with an impenetrable shield, giving them the space to be themselves and learn for themselves and be in community with their friends and peers. I want to join hands with trans and queer adults and our allies and show these young people that they are going to be OK, that we will never stop loving them and affirming them and fighting for them.
Because here’s what I know, from my three decades as a trans person: Trans and queer people are strong. We are resilient. We are fierce. We have so much to offer, and our community is beautiful, powerful, and full of joy.
How dare these politicians try to do this to us?
Let’s not let them. In the face of this shameful wave of anti-LGBTQ+ attacks, let’s hold our heads high, come together as a community, and lead with love. Today I ask you to reach out to young LGBTQ+ people in your life and remind them that you are there for them, that you care about them, and that we will get through this grim period, together.
Want to wear your love on your sleeve, quite literally? Our team at Campaign for Southern Equality has a new design that you can wear on a hat, T-shirt, tote bag, or tons of other items. Take a look, and place your order here. CSE will regrant all proceeds from the sales to organizations that directly serve trans and queer youth on the ground in states facing extreme attacks, starting with Texas-based organizations.
Let’s center queer and trans joy in everything we do in the next few weeks, y’all.
Campaign for Southern Equality
P.S. We know this is a difficult time for many people. If you are thinking about hurting yourself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you are a LGBTQ youth who is thinking about hurting yourself or is in crisis, call The Trevor Project’s 24-Hour Suicide Prevention Hotline at 866-488-7386. And if you are a transgender person in crisis or needing support, please call Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860.