Happy Pride Month, Alliance Fam!
Every June, we honor the history of the LGBTQ+ community, and their ongoing fight for equality and the freedom to live full lives unencumbered by discrimination. This year, amidst the Pride celebrations and parades, we have to recognize the tumultuous legislative year we’ve had. LGBTQ+ folks have faced a record number of threats and challenges from leaders at the local, state, and national levels. This year alone, over 500 anti-LGBTQ bills and anti-trans bills have been introduced across the country attacking various rights and freedoms like free speech and expression, access to healthcare, education, and more.
While Pride can be a party, at its root Pride is a protest. Pride started as a fight for the right of LGBTQ+ people to live their lives in public, without apology. With that in mind, this Pride Month, we want to highlight the power of youth organizing when it comes to protecting LGBTQ+ rights and freedoms.
LGBTQ+ Organizing in the Alliance Network
New Hampshire Youth Movement
New Hampshire Youth Movement (NHYM) and coalition partners spent the year fighting SB 272, an anti-trans forced-outing bill.In May, the legislative session ended with that bill indefinitely postponed. We are celebrating alongside the youth organizers in New Hampshire who have worked tirelessly to defeat every anti-trans bill filed in the 2023 legislative session. Young people once again demonstrated how the power of youth organizing can shut down inhumane legislation and uphold the rights of trans and LGBTQ+ young people.
This year the Montana state legislature fell into the limelight after State Rep. Zooey Zephyr was silenced during the debate over banning gender-affirming care of minors. Forward Montana stood in solidarity with Rep. Zephyr, drove over 1,000 calls against SB99 to pressure lawmakers, and organized a legislative session debrief with young LGBTQ+ community members.
In Kansas, Loud Light has been fighting on the legislative front lines against several anti-trans bills including HB 2238, a bill that would ban transgender women and girls from competing on sports teams. The Kansas Legislature overrode the governor’s veto of this damaging bill . Loud Light is mobilizing their network while honoring the activists who fought before them through “Pride was a Riot”, an event dedicated to exploring the history, theory, and practice of civil disobedience in the LGBTQ+ movement.
Among several actions MOVE Texas has hosted at their state capitol, in March they hosted a Youth Capitol Takeover that brought over 350 young voters and lifetime organizers together at the Texas capitol to demand progressive change from state lawmakers.
Engage Miami and organizers across Florida have spent this legislative session battling anti-LGBTQ+ bills, including an expansion to the Don’t Say Gay law by the State Board of Education. In response, Engage Miami supported their partners who provide care and support to LGBTQ+ youth in South Florida.
How the Alliance Network is Celebrating Pride Month
Find your state and see how you can tap into upcoming Pride events, or engage with one of our network orgs on social media!
One APIA Nevada
This month, the NH Senate has a chance to ensure equal protection under the law for LGBTQ+ lives by passing HB 315, a bill that would officially ban the LGBTQ+ panic defense in New Hampshire. Take action with New Hampshire Youth Movement now!
Ohio Student Association
More LGBTQ+ Content From the Alliance
How the Alliance Network Fights for Trans Youth
This year we’ve seen an influx in anti-trans rhetoric spreading across the nation. As more and more legislative attacks on trans folks arise, youth organizers in the Alliance Network have been fighting back to protect the rights and freedoms of trans youth. For International Day of Transgender Visibility in March, honored the contributions of trans people, and the youth organizers opposing these bills face-to-face with legislators determined to prohibit the rights and freedoms of the trans community, by showing some extra love to the Alliance Network orgs doing this work in their state legislative sessions this year.
Pride is a Battleground
For Pride 2022, Forward Montana organizer, Izzy Milch penned a powerful blog post on the importance of acknowledging the history of Pride Month and the necessity for LGBTQ+ organizing at the local level.
As the legislative session winds down, let’s continue to hold our heads high and remember that Pride is a continuous celebration of advocacy and action for LGBTQ+ freedom. Equality is made for all, and young people know it. Let’s keep fighting.