Thursday, April 2, 2020
March 31st was transgender visibility day. With the national focus on COVID-19, we see and hear less news about the ongoing personal and legislative attacks on sexual minorities. An earlier post addressed the restriction of human rights during the epidemic and the danger that the restricted rights will not be restored. This is also a time when harmful actions unrelated to COVID-19 are being attempted while the disease diverts our attention.
Idaho is an example of enacting insidious anti-transgender laws. As trans people prepared to celebrate Visibility Day, Indiana Governor Brad Little signed anti-transgender legislation into law. One bill prohibits transgender women and girls from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. The second bill forbids transgender and non-binary people from changing the gender markers on their birth certificates.
Even if the laws are found to be unconstitutional, they achieve the underlying purpose of raising anti-trans hostility. Similar bills are introduced in other states. So long as anti-transgender publicity has momentum, discrimination and violence against trans and non-binary people will escalate.
While our mobility may be determined by COVID-19, our advocacy should not be.