In 1977, orange juice spokeswoman Anita Bryant campaigned against a new anti-discrimination law protecting gay men and lesbians in Dade County, Florida. She had it overturned and riding on the wave of this success, started Save Our Children, the United States’ first national anti gay group.
In the past year or so, there has been a scourge of discriminatory legislation targeting the entire Queer community, transgender individuals in particular. Bills have been introduced in state legislatures that attack freedom of expression, access to gender-affirming care, education, and visibility for the transgender and broader Queer community. These laws are an astonishing and frightening violation of basic human rights and speak to a worrying rise in widespread anti-transgender intolerance. Essentially, conservative politicians are trying to write Queer and trans people out of existence.
The ACLU is currently tracking 467 anti-LGBTQ bills among 45 state legislators at the time of publication. On April 13, the U.S. Department of Education (referred to as The Department) published its proposed updates to Title IX regulations entitled “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance: Sex-Related Eligibility Criteria for Male and Female Athletic Teams.”
On March 3, 2023, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed Senate Bill 3, a bill that bans public drag shows under the rationale that they are “adult-oriented performances that are harmful to minors.” The first offense would be classified as a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in jail time of up to 11 months and 29 days and/or fines of up to $2500. The second or subsequent offenses would be classified as Class E felonies, which can lead to one to six years in prison and/or a fine of up to $3000.
To be frank, conservatives across the country are going hysterical. Far-right Republicans have co-opted the term “family-friendly” into a sensationalized rallying cry for concerned conservative parents. The purported link between pedophilia and queerness has created an uptick of anti-gay and anti-trans legislation that one NPR article even referred to as a “cascade.”
There is an ongoing increase in legislative attacks on the transgender community in the United States, especially targeting transgender youth. According to the Human Rights Campaign, in 2015 there were a total of 19 anti-transgender legislations placed on the table…