At this moment in history, we are witnessing a new wave of hysteria.
The rise of prejudice and hate directed toward the trans community and the LGBTQ+ community at large represents the culmination of years of propaganda and misinformation.
What began as a hopeful rise towards progress, inclusivity, and acceptance has drifted squarely into the path of a vicious backlash.
According to the Trans Legislation Tracker, 362 bills aimed at denying rights to transgender individuals have been raised across 37 States in the US. And that’s just in 2023; we’re only two months into the year.
These bills restrict everything from access to healthcare, including gender-affirming care, access to sports for trans youth, invasive medical questions by non-qualified individuals, and so on.
Along with these bills, we’re seeing a disturbing rise in the prevalence of hate speech and discrimination. If you’ve read my previous article on the subject of the Overton Window, you already recognize why this is such a serious problem.
Public acceptance of hate toward a marginalized community is a bad sign. Now, we’re seeing the logical conclusion. When hate became acceptable, so did hateful legislation. We’re watching the Window slide in real-time.
We’re seeing accusations of child grooming levelled at LGBTQ+ people and school materials re-written to erase our existence. We’re seeing bomb threats against children’s hospitals based on misinformation. We’re seeing famous public figures advocating for and encouraging their fans to view the transgender community as a threat to women’s rights and safety.
This is a clear and obvious issue of human rights under attack. So.
What can we do about it?
Thank you for reading this far. This subject is a painful one, but it’s important to talk about. This is a free post, so feel free to share it and invite other people to join the conversation.
In a Democracy, Citizens Have The Power
Trans rights are human rights; let’s make that clear upfront. And when rights are restricted for one demographic, you should expect to see that restriction spread. It starts with an ‘other’, but it doesn’t end there.
Even if you somehow don’t care about the LGBTQ+ community, you should care that human beings are being trashed and targeted.
I’ve heard it said that activism is the rent you pay in a free society. Taking part in the democratic process goes further than simply casting your vote at the ballot box.
The first thing we should do to help combat this trend is to elevate LGBTQ+ voices, especially those of the group most under threat. The first thing that happens when the Window shifts against the rights of a demographic is that they become dehumanized. Hearing their experiences in their own words can counteract that.
There are plenty of fantastic trans and non-binary creators and activists to choose from, and they aren’t hard to find. Try dedicating an hour of your day off to look around and share some on your social media. It’s free, and it really does help.
If you have the money, you could opt to donate to charitable causes that help the community as well. The Trevor Project is an outstanding resource for LGBTQ+ youth in need of mental health and crisis assistance. Suicidal ideation and depression are on the rise right now, and helping to spread the word that help is available could save a life.
If you have a platform like a blog or a YouTube channel, you could make a post just like I often do. A short call out to other creators who tackle the subject, making your stance on the subject clear and directing people to take part in the solution can go a long way.
If you want more direct involvement, you can contact your representatives. In a democratic society, you’re supposed to be in charge. If you don’t like what your elected representatives are doing, call them and let them know. Send an email, send a letter, or send them comments on social media. Flood them. Let them know you aren’t okay with this.
This is only happening because lawmakers think we agree with it. They think bigotry is acceptable to the people who vote for them. They think it’s a winning strategy to treat the LGBTQ+ community as morally wrong and degenerate.
Together, we can show them how very wrong they are.