Current Events Impacting the LGBTQ+ Community
Returning to work: COVID-19 and social distancing requirements had an impact on everyone. The LGBTQ+ community was uniquely impacted as people may have come out, explored gender identity, or transitioned during times where face to face contact was limited. As the world opens up and people return to their jobs or daily routines, they are facing the reality that they have to “come out” again.
Don’t say gay?: On March 28, 2022 Florida’s Parental Right in Education Bill was signed into state law. This prohibits any classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in K-3rd Grade; and prohibits instruction that isn’t age appropriate for students. Additionally, schools are to adopt procedures to notify parents of anything regarding a child’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being. Parents can sue school districts for potential violations. LGBTQ+ organizations oppose this legislation, saying that it can unnecessarily “out” students by requiring school personnel to notify parents. It also may cause children in LGBTQ+ families to hide the truth about their family life. Instead of hearing positive messages of affirmation, students in Florida public schools are being told that their truth isn’t “age appropriate.” More here: https://flgov.com/2022/03/28/governor-ron-desantis-signs-historic-bill-to-protect-parental-rights-in-education/
And on the opposition here: https://apnews.com/article/education-florida-tallahassee-ron-desantis-gender-identity-
Other state legislation: Many state legislatures across the country have been advancing legislation that limits the rights of trans youth to participate in sports that correspond with their gender identity, forcing them to play on teams with their gender assigned at birth. Bills that ban gender-affirming care are in 15 states, with some of the most extreme ones targeting LGBTQ+ children.
State legislatures with bills to limit gender affirming healthcare
LGBTQ+ people, specifically youth, are having their rights debated and used as pawns in America’s “culture war” between conservatives and liberals. It is important to take politics out of this, and recognize the psychological harm that these bills have to someone who is questioning their sexuality or gender identity. Confront these negative stories by advocating, checking in with the LGBTQ+ people in your social circles, and providing positive messages of affirmation to the people you support.
Marriage equality is recognized in the United States and 30 other countries. In 2021, Chile and Switzerland recognized marriage equality.
There are laws that protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination in 33 states. The Equality Act would extend these protections to all 50 states.
This program is made possible by The New York Health Foundation – and we are so grateful! NYHealth seeks to improve the health of all New Yorkers, particularly by “spreading effective programs that work to improve the health system.” We are proud and honored that NYHealth chose to support The Arc of Monroe as we fully step into what we perceive to be a natural leadership role in the long overdue space of supporting people with IDD identifying as LGBTQ+. We look forward to facilitating lasting, comprehensive growth and change throughout our region by safely supporting the personal journeys of those we help. NYHealth’s endorsement through this grant award will provide value and meaning far beyond what the actual dollars will achieve.