Standing in Solidarity with the LGBTQ+ Community
In recent weeks, we have once again witnessed coordinated attacks on the LGBTQ+ community in the United States. Lawmakers in Texas, Florida, Indiana, Georgia, Idaho, Wyoming, Missouri, and other states have used their powers to legislate attacks that would legalize discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community. At GOOD Institute and Net Impact, we stand in steadfast solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community across the US and around the world and vehemently denounce the attempts to deny equal access to healthcare and education to this community.
We understand these events are only the most recent in a long line of efforts to chip away at the progress that many LGBTQ+ activists have fought for decades to achieve. Last year alone saw a record of over 100 anti-LGBTQ+ legislative measures introduced in 35 states, mostly targeting transgender youth. Further, 2021 was also the most deadly year on record for transgender and non-binary people, with most violence being directed at Black and Latinx transgender individuals. We must acknowledge these attacks and call them what they are: part of a pattern of discrimination and anti-diversity efforts that harm the health of our democracy and our daily lives. Attempts to drum up fear and discord in our education systems around the teaching of diversity, the banning of books that highlight BIPOC experiences, and more, are interwoven with these recent attempts to silence the LGBTQ+ community and mandate laws that directly affect their identities. Attempts to silence these voices or speak for them without their consent only opens the door to violence against them.
As we survey the current landscape of our democracy, we must absorb the gravity of what is at stake: Discriminatory legislation that is proposed or signed into law today, reinforces long-standing, unfounded bias and only serves to create tomorrow’s systemic problems. That is why we believe that action is crucial in order to protect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and other targeted communities, particularly the most vulnerable members - the children and teenagers who lack legal autonomy and the right to vote, as well as transgender and non-binary people, particular BIPOC transgender and non-binary people who experience a disproportionate impact of hate and violence for living at the intersection of these identities. Our organizational mission to build a more just and sustainable world is hampered if justice and democracy only sway in the favor of a privileged, select few.
As an organization that champions the voices of the next generation, we understand that these attacks directly affect our future leaders and attempt to diminish their worth and value in our society. We stand against that notion and understand that our role is to amplify and uplift their voice and vision for a stronger society. The efforts to dismantle LGBTQ+ rights remind us why it is crucial for us all to work together and act now to build a more inclusive future.
Our collective call to action is this: We call on our community to help stand up for and protect our future innovators, entrepreneurs, activists, and leaders by educating yourself about these issues, listening to and supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community, and by using your voice and your vote to speak out against lawmakers who seek to pass legislation that openly denies equal rights to all. We also encourage the following actions that can make an immediate difference:
- Call your local elected officials today. Speak out against current legislation that is being proposed in your state or inform your lawmakers that you are opposed to any anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. You can find out who your elected officials are here.
- Prepare to vote in local elections and in mid-term elections. Do your research on the type of policies your local and state elected officials or candidates are supporting. Local elections and mid-terms are crucial in holding your elected officials accountable. Up to Us has created many resources to help you use your voice to vote for the issues you care about.
- Support organizations advocating for LGBTQ+ Rights. Our partners at the ACLU, RFK Human Rights, and HeadCount are among the many organizations that are doing the critical work to advocate for members of the LBGTQ+ community and who are encouraging all of us to use our vote to make a difference.
GOOD Institute and Net Impact will continue to examine our own biases, uplift and center the diverse voices of the LGBTQ+ community, offer support and resources, and apply crucial JEDI frameworks to all of our programs and events. We believe there is work to be done in order to be authentic partners in our efforts to build a more just and sustainable world. We are ready to answer the call.