At a time when the number of out LGBTQ people continues to grow, we should take Pride Month to celebrate who we are, but also to remember the root of Pride is in protest and in demanding full acceptance and equality. The spirit of Pride is needed this month and all year long.
Over this past year, we have witnessed an unprecedented level of horrifying attacks on the LGBTQ community in policy, rhetoric, and direct violence. In 2021 alone, there have been over 250 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in state legislatures across the United States, most of which specifically target transgender people and youth. Many of these laws target the rights of trans youth to play school sports or criminalize doctors for providing life-affirming care to trans youth and their families. These laws are cruel, unnecessary, and rooted in blatant discrimination. Despite major medical and educational organizations speaking out against the laws, several states across the country including Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia have signed such anti-LGBTQ legislation into law this year. All LGBTQ people and allies must loudly speak out and take action to fight these laws and future ones.
Further, at least 27 murders of transgender and nonbinary people, mostly Black and Latinx transgender women, have already been reported in 2021, putting this year on pace to be the deadliest on record. This ongoing cycle of violence against the trans community is an epidemic that must be imminently addressed, but only continues to worsen by the ongoing slate of baseless and shameful attacks on trans people on the state legislative level.