So far in 2022, nearly 240 anti-LGBTQ bills have been filed, according to NBC News, with the majority of them targeting trans people. This is a massive increase over the last few years with a transition from 41 bills in 2018 to 238 in the first three months of 2022.
Evidently, the most notable of these has been the Florida Senate passing the “Parental Rights in Education” or the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” bill. This legislation limits instruction on gender and sexuality, requires parental notification when children receive mental, emotional, or physical health services, offers parents the right to opt their child out of counseling services, and allows parents to sue schools for violations of this bill.
Florida is far from the only state working to institute hateful legislation. Oklahoma’s Governor Kevin Stitt issued an executive order on November that reversed the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s practice allowing transgender people to change their name on their birth certificates. Stitt has become the target of a lawsuit from LGBTQ+ civil rights organization Lambda Legal, according to The Hill, arguing that this order violates equal rights and protection under the law.
Like all anti-trans legislation, this bill and executive order have dangerous implications for the mental and physical health of members of the LGBTQ+ community and members of their family.
So, how can you help?
Founded by Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, one excellent organization is the Campaign for Southern Equality. CSE provides a “Trans in the South” directory of trans-affirming health & and legal service providers, as well as a comprehensive guide to “Know Your Rights” both federally and on a state by state basis. Although this is an incredible organization to donate to, they also have a number of different ways to take action, including volunteering, getting involved in state coalitions, and taking the pledge to support LGBT equality in the south.
The Transgender Law Center is the largest national trans-led organization that works to change law, policy, and attitudes in order to create a world in which all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. They provide policy information across the United States and offer legal information and resources in categories anywhere from immigration to health to employment and more. You can support this organization by donating, volunteering, and participating in events.
Looking for ways to support Trans Rights in the South? Check out these organizations