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ANTI-LGBTQIA+: Legislation on the rise

| May 24, 2023 1:00 AM

Pride Month is fast approaching, and though this is typically a time of celebration for queer people like myself, the sheer volume of anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation introduced this year alone is making that difficult. From the beginning of January to now, there have been over 540 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills introduced to state legislatures, of which 45 have already passed. This year’s International Day Against Homophobia (general prejudice against queer people), Transphobia (prejudice specifically against transgender/gender non-conforming individuals) and Biphobia (prejudice specifically against bisexual people) was marked by Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis signing off on six explicitly anti-LGBTQIA+ bills. These bills give the state of Florida the power to remove healthcare for queer individuals, arrest teachers who instruct their students about gender identity or sexual orientation, and prosecute doctors who specialize in gender-affirming care (any medical procedure done to help queer people feel more secure in their bodies and identities.)

With the passing of the Vulnerable Child Protective Act, the same can happen in Idaho. Starting Jan. 1, 2024, doctors can be sentenced to 10 years in prison for providing gender-affirming care to transgender youth. To give some context, in a series of 27 studies conducted by the National Institute of Health, 99.9% of transgender individuals who accessed gender-affirming care reported a significant increase in quality of life and general happiness. To conclude, tell your queer friends and family you love them. They’ll need your support in the months to come.

RAINE CINO

Coeur d’Alene