As a young, trans woman, I’m very honored to be able to share this message with you today on Transgender Day of Visibility. This year more than ever it is important that we use whatever voice and presence we can muster to lift up those who need the most help and support in our community. I am proud to recognize my trans and nonbinary siblings for standing up firmly against the wave of fearmongering and repression that is sweeping across so many states in the US.
For example, just this past month in Louisiana – where HB 570 would ban lifesaving gender-affirming medical care for trans youth and HB 837 would mimic Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” law – hundreds of students rallied in cities like New Orleans to shout that they do, in fact, say gay (and lesbian, and bi, and trans) and that they will not sit silently while trans youth are used as a political football to push extremist ideological agendas.
Gen Z is the most publicly queer generation ever, with about one in six youths identifying as LGBTQ and with so many more unafraid to stand in solidarity with them. While lawmakers might be trying to legislate away their identities, the visibility and power of our youth need to be recognized, celebrated, and applauded.
The kids today are okay, but in order to keep it that way, NCLR and other LGBTQ organizations must keep up the pace in combating laws that will do terrible harm to LGBTQ youth and their families. We stand at a critical moment in history and, in the face of these atrocious attacks, we must not only defend the gains we have made but enable new generations to keep forging ahead for a more just and equitable future.
Thank you for your support, and may we all pull a page from Gen Z’s book as we think of what visibility means for us and for them.