Pro-trans protest at the Minnesota Capitol

But I Want Them to Live

Today is Trans Visibility Day. I see you. I love you. I am here for you.

These past few months have felt like a dark time for the trans community. I’m sorry.

We’re in a place right now where attacks on the LGBTQ community, and specifically trans folks, are coming fast and furious. Not just from a minority of bigots and haters, but from state governments and seemingly an entire political party. Not just a few red states (where these bills are passing and becoming law), but nearly the entire country.

I’ll say this as simply as I can: This is a civil rights issue. Some people want to deny LGBTQ people their civil rights because they some how think that’s wrong or feel threatened by it. But it’s discrimination, it’s rooted in hate, and it’s evil. It’s anti-American.

And no, I don’t care about your religious exemption or your fake concern for women’s sports or your gross and wrong conflation of abuse and homosexuality (ready for “grooming” to become the new scare-word?). There’s no excuse for hate.

Here’s why I think this issue is so simple: Kids are dying.

You either care about those kids and want to see them live, or you don’t.

Suicide rates for LGBTQ kids are through the roof. The answers are obvious: When society rejects you, when families kick you out, when you have to fight for your very existence, it’s not hard to think about suicide. So how do we save these lives? Acceptance. Love. Hope. Stop outlawing gay people and just welcome them. (If you’re thinking about harming yourself, reach out for help 24/7.)

And I’m not the first person to put this debate in these simple terms.

In Utah, GOP Governor Spencer Cox vetoed a anti-trans bill in a heartfelt letter where he pointed out that the bill was being written because of Utah has a whopping four trans student athletes, and then he cites the same suicide stats and says:

“I don’t understand what they are going through or why they feel the way they do. But I want them to live.”

Wanting your fellow humans to live seems like something everyone can support.

Now What?

If you want these kids to live, it’s time to speak up and do something. And not just with a social media post. Let’s take some action:

  • Donate: Support an LGBTQ+ friendly organization, such as the Trevor Project, which has 24/7 crisis support. One better, support a trans organization. The Trans Parent Alliance is new and could use your help.
  • Vote: While not all Republicans are anti-LGBTQ, it seems to be the party default. Find candidates who support LGBTQ rights. And this isn’t just important at the federal level. It’s extremely important at the state level and even down to local races like school board and city council. And here’s a tough one: Talk to your Republican friends and family about this issue. Acceptance of gay marriage took off because people realized this impacted their family. When people realize these issues impact the civil rights of their family, they might vote differently.
  • Show up: When there are marches or protests for LGBTQ rights, be there. These aren’t just LGBTQ issues or trans issues, these are civil rights issues and we should all care about that. So show up. It’s not always convenient or easy. Sometimes it’s cold. But be there.
  • Love: Finally, show some love and support to the LGBTQ folks in your life. Maybe you send a nice note or just reach out and let them know you’re thinking of them. The headlines have been hard, and it helps to know people have your back.

The world feels like a crappy place lately. This is one way to make it better. Thanks.

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