Opinion | Southern LGBTQ Advocates Respond to GOP Hate-Mongering Legislation

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The onslaught of anti-LGBTQ legislation comes as LGBTQ people in general—and trans youth in particular—face a crisis of hate.

, which takes effect next year, forces trans children to use bathrooms that don't align with their gender identity. In a nod to Florida, it also bans classroom conversations about sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Michael Shutt is the regional director in the Atlanta office of Lambda Legal, which has been fighting LGBTQ discrimination in the South for 25 years. One of its first cases was a successful lawsuit against Georgia's notorious anti-sodomy law, which was deployed by authorities in a discriminatory way to target LGBTQ people.

Daroneshia Duncan-Boyd is the founder and executive director of TAKE Birmingham, a nonprofit resource center that helps trans women of color find shelter, jobs, and health care. She decided to start the group in 2013 after experiencing housing insecurity and substance abuse and noticing a lack of support for Black and Brown trans women from local service providers.

She wishes Alabama's anti-trans politicians would seek out education to rethink their biases and bigotries."I think they need to get out in the communities and meet trans folks, hear people's backstories, and understand we're no different than them," she said. Harvard said Alabama's discriminatory laws make the work Prism United does even more important. The organization will continue to host support groups, for example. But it used to help youth and their families find gender-affirming health care providers, too,"Obviously, that just got a little bit more complicated," Harvard said.


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