Thursday, June 1, 2023

Pride as Protest

 Today is the first day of Pride 2023 and we have much to both celebrate and protest.

What happened at the Stonewall Inn was an act of defiance that awakened a community. Led by our trans siblings, the LGBTQ community stood up to bigotry and hate. Now it’s our turn to stand up for them. 

Our community is endangered by increasingly fascist legislation designed to set us up as the ultimate Other. Whether its banning trans-affirmative healthcare, restricting parent rights or criminalizing Drag, these laws across the country have set their sights on us:

Year-to-Date Snapshot: 2023 Anti-LGBTQ+ State Legislative Activity 

  • Over 540 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in state legislatures, a record;
  • Over 220 bills specifically target transgender and non-binary people, also a record; and
  • 45 anti-LGBTQ laws have been enacted so far this year, including:
  • Laws banning gender affirming care for transgender youth: 13
  • Laws requiring or allowing misgendering of transgender students: 3
  • Laws targeting drag performances: 2
  • Laws creating a license to discriminate: 3
  • Laws censoring school curriculum, including books: 2

Florida, of course, leads the way with some of the most sweeping legislation aimed at disenfranchising transgender people, their families, and doctors. These laws are bad enough that the NAACP, Human Rights Commission, LULAC, and Equality Florida issued travel warning for the state to their members and communities. Tampa has cancelled their Pride. Organizers in Florida have also canceled events in Port St. Lucie, and Lake County. Other organizers in Florida have declared they will continue despite the hate slate as an act of protest. 

Locally, all Williamson County Pride events are still on. Show your Pride and your support and attend these local events. Round Rock is on June 3, Leander is June 15, and Taylor is June 24. Today, more than ever, the community and our allies MUST attend these events. There will be protests, as always, but I am confident that law enforcement is ready to protect festival-goers. 

Now, more than ever, is our time to stand and be heard.

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