Editorial: Trans Day of Visibility

Today on Transgender Day of Visibility, there are 455 known anti-human rights legislative bills in 27 states targeting the LGBTQ+ community. The biggest target of these bills are our transgender and non-binary children. 

As a non-binary trauma therapist for the LGBTQ+ community I promise you this: no amount of conversion therapy, no denial of sports inclusion or lack of access to gender affirming care will “change anyone’s minds.

It will, however, succeed in killing us.

To every politician, health care provider, or hospital leader who feels like “playing both sides” by making deals with politicians who propose/support anti-LGBT legislation is acceptable: it is not. 

To every parent, guardian, or pastor who believes that Queer identity is – generously speaking –  “just confusion” or “the devil”: it is not. To every school administrator or board that thinks our childrens’ identities and basic rights are fair game for a school board to debate: they really are not. 

I guarantee: If you do not step it up and enact swift policy changes, you will be responsible for our statistics:

  • More than 1.8 million LGBTQ+ youth in the U.S. seriously consider suicide each year 
  • At least one LGBTQ+ child attempts suicide every 45 seconds in the U.S. 
  • Over 51% of transgender people have attempted suicide

As the Executive Director of Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition, Trans Day of Visibility is even more important than ever because nobody seems to want to collect data and statistics about trans people while we are still alive. I struggle to prove the need for access to healthcare and housing because people aren’t asking. You know what stats we have plenty of statistics about? Our deaths: hate crimes, suicides, mass shootings. 

Let’s change that. On May 1, 2023 We are launching an LGBTQ+ behavioral health and wellness program, an expansion of our subsidized housing program and an emergency overnight shelter. We are also seeking to include intergenerational communal housing because of the definite lack of affirming shelters or retirement communities in Lancaster.

We have been delayed long enough. We need funding for an accessibility ramp and a sprinkler system for our space. More than anything we need to own our building to have autonomy and ability to expand. 

I am sure we can all agree that ALL children deserve a loving home, to play sports, to be called by their name, loved for who they are, and to not be shot in schools. Right?

The time of hiding hate behind so-called faith is over. Religious freedom can no longer be used as a veil for blatant discrimination. We deserve to love ourselves, our lives, and our partners without fear. We demand better from our society.