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SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change;
2022 was a year of countless attacks on the social fabric of our country, particularly at the state and local level. Sex education, LGBTQAI+ rights, transgender rights, and racial justice advocates saw a sudden flurry of hate-based bills filed that attacked vulnerable students, public school curriculum, and libraries. In fact, SIECUS observed a 438% increase in so-called "divisive concept" curriculum censorship legislation in 2022 as compared to 2021. Additionally, over 140 so-called "parental rights'' bills were introduced in 2022 seeking to weaponize conservative litigation against public schools using fear-based tactics to misguide parents.Navigating this complex sociopolitical landscape will be an arduous but necessary task for advocates working to advance sex education in the upcoming session. SIECUS believes that access to accurate and comprehensive sexual health information is not only key to improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes, but is essential for the health and well-being of young people.This legislative report will review the past year's legislation since the release of SIECUS's State Legislative Mid-Year Report and will give an overview of expected legislative trends for 2023.
SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW;
Trans and gender expansive people are under legislative attack in the United States. Since 2015, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of anti-trans bills introduced each year. In the first half of 2023 (January 1, 2023 - July 1, 2023), 558 anti-trans bills were introduced, making 2023 the fourth consecutive record-breaking year for anti-trans legislation.Although legislation targeting non-cisgender and non-heterosexual people is not new in the United States, the current wave of anti-trans legislation and rhetoric can be traced to the fights over access to single-gender bathrooms in Houston in 2015 and North Carolina in 2016. Anti-trans political sentiments only grew with the 2016 presidential primaries and eventual election of Donald Trump.Since then, the scope and range of anti-trans legislative attacks have expanded to all other areas of life. This retrospective report aims to identify anti-trans legislative trends in the United States and provide policy recommendations for communities and organizations involved in trans liberation advocacy. Because SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW! is a Reproductive Justice organization that prioritizes the safety and well being of Black women and trans people, the policy recommendations in this report utilize a Reproductive Justice framework that centers the needs of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color.If the last seven years of anti-trans legislation is any indication of the future for the United States, it is necessary for advocates to continue organizing and mobilizing to keep our trans and gender expansive (TGE) communities safe. We hope this guide is a helpful tool for communities and organizers alike to use when strategizing for the future of trans liberation.
Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (S.T.O.P.);
In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down constitutional protections for abortion. One year later, 15 states enacted abortion bans, and half of states have tried. Gender-affirming care restrictions also exploded in the same period: 142 bills were introduced across the U.S. in 2023, 20 states have already banned gender-affirming care for youth, and seven have banned it for people of all ages. These restrictions force healthcare providers to turn away patients in vast regions of the U.S., from Texas to Florida and across much of the American heartland. In turn, healthcare seekers and their families have foregone vital care or traveled far from their homes and across state lines in search of the care they need.State legislators opposed to abortion and gender-affirming care have these healthcare travelers in their crosshairs. They've reached beyond their states' jurisdictional bounds to punish residents for seeking care that is perfectly legal where it's administered. In April 2023, Idaho legislators banned the in-state leg of travel to neighboring states to obtain certain abortions–and other states are trying to follow suit. These laws have been countered by "safe harbor" legislation in states like Massachusetts (abortion care), California, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota and Washington state (gender-affirming care). But while dubious laws like Idaho's stand, they put healthcare seekers, their helpers and healthcare providers at serious risk of investigation or prosecution.Healthcare seekers' very need to travel can be used against them. Prosecutors bringing criminalized healthcare charges have relied on digital surveillance data in healthcare prosecutions. Typically, the data comes from smartphones: a person's texts, their internet search history, or their online purchase records. The Federal Trade Commission and tech companies like Google have rushed to prevent prosecutors and state officials from using phones' geolocation data to place individuals at healthcare clinics. But even when smartphone data is out of reach, travel data can be used to corroborate accusations against known healthcare travelers and to identify yet unknown healthcare seekers. License plate data, Uber and Lyft data, and even bikeshare data can be used to reveal that someone traveled to a reproductive or gender-affirming healthcare clinic.Not all forms of travel and accommodations pose the same surveillance risk, especially for individuals who are not on state officials' or prosecutors' radar. But it's nearly impossible to travel anonymously in the U.S. and to avoid leaving a digital trail of one's travels.
Human Rights Watch;
According to interviews Human Rights Watch conducted with 66 lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ+) activists, researchers, lawyers, and movement leaders in 26 countries between March and September 2022, forced marriage is one of ten key areas of human rights abuses most affecting LBQ+ women's lives. Human Rights Watch identified the following areas of LBQ+ rights as those in need of immediate investigation, advocacy, and policy reform. This report explores how the denial of LBQ+ people's rights in these ten areas impacts their lives and harms their ability to exercise and enjoy the advancement of more traditionally recognized LGBT rights and women's rights:the right to free and full consent to marriage;land, housing, and property rights;freedom from violence based on gender expression;freedom from violence and discrimination at work;freedom of movement and the right to appear in public without fear of violence;parental rights and the right to create a family;the right to asylum;the right to health, including services for sexual, reproductive, and mental health;protection and recognition as human rights defenders; andaccess to justice.This investigation sought to analyze how and in what circumstances the rights of LBQ+ people are violated, centering LBQ+ identity as the primary modality for inclusion in the report. Gender-nonconforming, non-binary, and transgender people who identify as LBQ+ were naturally included. At the same time, a key finding of the report is that the fixed categories "cisgender" and "transgender" are ill-suited for documenting LBQ+ rights violations, movements, and struggles for justice. As will be seen in this report, people assigned female at birth bear the weight of highly gendered expectations which include marrying and having children with cisgender men, and are punished in a wide range of ways for failing or refusing to meet these expectations. Many LBQ+ people intentionally decenter cisgender men from their personal, romantic, sexual, and economic lives. In this way, the identity LBQ+ itself is a transgression of gendered norms. Whether or not an LBQ+ person identifies as transgender as it is popularly conceptualized, the rigidly binary (and often violently enforced) gender boundaries outside of which LBQ+ people already live, regardless of their gender identity, may help to explain why the allegedly clear division between "cisgender" and "transgender" categories simply does not work for many LBQ+ communities. This report aims to explore and uplift, rather than deny, that reality.
Arcus Social Justice Program's 2021 evaluation report provides updates on implementing strategies for grantmaking to movements and organizations working toward LGBTQ rights in East and Southern Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, and the southern United States. By analyzing data and information acquired throughout 2021, this report details advancements toward each of the program's overarching goal areas, with a particular focus on work supporting increased safety for LGBTQ people across the Global South and the southern United States. The report also breaks down the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.As in previous annual evaluations, the data and information included in the report come from grant reports submitted by our grantees; our ongoing engagement with grantees, colleague funders, and others with relevant experience in our geographic regions; research reports; and media sources. In addition, Arcus analyzes its own grantmaking data to ensure that funding reflects the foundation's priorities and values.
In this report, drawing on the spring 2022 American Instructional Resources Survey, the authors examine teachers' awareness of and responses to limitations on how they can address race- or gender-related topics in their instruction. Teachers experienced limitations that infringed on their instructional autonomy, which included their choice of curriculum materials and topics for classroom discussion. These limitations originated from a variety of sources, including state, school, and district leaders and family and community members, and encompassed a wide span of topics, including, but not limited to race- or gender-related topics. The multifaceted nature of these limitations highlights how teachers exist in an increasingly complex policy environment in which they must consider and weigh not only their own perspectives but also the perspectives of multiple stakeholders, along with numerous messages and directives from a variety of sources about what and how to teach. In this complex environment, the authors found that teachers' responses to restrictions on their classroom instruction ranged broadly from compliance with to resistance against these restrictions; teachers also engaged in numerous strategies to navigate the existence of these restrictions. Moreover, limitations placed on how teachers can address contentious topics may be leading to consequences for teachers' working conditions and for student learning. Teachers perceived that teaching students under these limitations has become more difficult and that these limitations make it more difficult to engage students in learning, support students' critical thinking skills, and develop students' ability to engage in perspective taking and empathy building.
We work collaboratively on critical non-partisan issues—from advancing workplace fairness and family recognition to defeating anti-transgender bills and HIV criminalization laws—that affect how LGBTQ+ people experience the world from cradle to grave.We use technology combined with our policy expertise to monitor important state legislation affecting LGBTQ+ Americans. Further down on the page you'll find important federal legislation, court cases, and ballot measures that could affect equality. From anti-LGBTQ+ bills to bans on conversion therapy we are prepared to fight alongside our state partners and meet every new challenge head on.
Funders for LGBTQ Issues;
This report explores the scope and character of U.S. foundation funding for LGBTQ communities and issues in calendar years 2019-2020. This 18th edition of the tracking report represents the next iteration of work from Funders for LGBTQ Issues in our ongoing effort to document the scale of philanthropic support for LGBTQ communities and issues.Our research finds that foundation funding reached a new high of $252 million in 2021. However, this does not tell the full story, as the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community did not necessarily see this benefit. Funding to transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary communities, Black LGBTQ communities, and Southeastern LGBTQ communities has not increased commensurate with total LGBTQ funding. As a sector, we also continue to see an increase in overall foundation funding, meaning that even at this new high, for every $100 awarded by U.S. foundations in 2021, only 28 cents specifically supported LGBTQ communities and issues.
Robert Bosch Stiftung;
How can intersectional approaches to reducing inequalities be applied in practice? Eleven of our partner organizations from our Support Program „Reducing Inequalities through Intersectional Practice" addressed this question. Their experiences, suggestions and insights have now been captured in an e-booklet on Intersectionality. for anyone working to promote social justice. In 10 chapters, it addresses intersectionality in different contexts and offers insights into the intersectional practices of partners and the reflections, insights and demands that emerged from the program. With this publication, the Robert Bosch Stiftung wants to increase visibility for successful intersectional approaches in social change work and contribute to the widespread application of intersectionality in practice.
The Trevor Project;
LGBTQ young people are more likely to report mental health concerns – including depression, anxiety, and suicidality – in comparison to their straight and cisgender peers (Johns et al., 2019; Johns et al., 2020). These reports are often due to minority stress experiences, such as identity-related discrimination and victimization, rather than simply being LGBTQ (Meyer, 2003). After a call for intersectional research on health disparities by the National Institutes of Health (NIH, 2015), some research has begun to illuminate the impact of having multiple marginalized identities (e.g., being LGBTQ and a person of color) on mental health outcomes (Cyrus, 2017). However, very little research has explored the mental health of Middle Eastern and Northern African (MENA) LGBTQ young people (Hayek et al., 2022). Despite representing over 20 countries and being considered non-White by the majority of other Western countries (Maghbouleh et al., 2022), MENA people have historically been considered both a monolithic population in the United States (U.S.) and White by the U.S. Census (Abboud et al., 2019). Thus, little research has explored the mental health of MENA people, as they are often combined with White people in literature. However, a systematic review found that MENA LGBTQ people frequently report symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress, suicidal ideation, and substance misuse, which is often tied to societal and cultural stressors that are unique to MENA people, such as a lack of sexual health awareness and anti-LGBTQ stigma and persecution (Hayek et al., 2022). Specific to young people, research by GLSEN suggests that MENA LGBTQ young people experience higher rates of school-based victimization than their non-MENA peers, which is related to depressive symptoms and poor self-esteem (Truong & Kosciw, 2022). Using data from The Trevor Project's 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, this brief will be one of the first to exclusively explore the mental health of MENA LGBTQ young people, separately from White LGBTQ young people.
The Trevor Project;
"Coming out" is everyday language for the process of sharing one's sexual orientation or gender identity with other people. The decision of when and how to come out – or not – is deeply personal, and can change over the course of an individual's lifetime. For transgender and nonbinary (TGNB) individuals, sharing the details of one's gender identity or history with friends, family, and acquaintances can be complex. On a basic level, TGNB people do not always have the option to come out to others — sometimes they are forcibly outed by their documentation, medical records, or physical appearance (Beemyn & Bauer, 2015). TGNB people may also only be out about their gender identity in certain spaces or spheres of their life where they feel safe being open with others (Klein et al., 2015). While little research has specifically examined gender identity outness, outness of ones' LGBTQ identity more broadly is associated with mixed mental health outcomes among young people. Sexual orientation outness is associated with high levels of suicide risk among LGBTQ young people, despite society becoming more LGBTQ-affirming over time (Meyer et al., 2021). This is likely due to increased exposure to anti-LGBTQ language, discrimination, and violence after one comes out as LGBTQ. Indeed, LGBTQ young people who are more out about their sexual orientation report higher levels of victimization in school, compared to their peers who are less out (Kosciw et al., 2015; Poteat et al., 2022). Furthermore, given that coming out earlier places young people at greater risk for anti-LGBTQ victimization, it has therefore been associated with increased risk for suicide, as documented in our previous research brief, "Age of Sexual Orientation Outness and Suicide Risk". However, being out about one's LGBTQ identity can also be protective, as LGBTQ young people with higher levels of outness also report higher self-esteem and lower rates of depression (Kosciw et al., 2015). It is unclear if similar findings hold true for TGNB young people coming out about their gender identity. Using data from The Trevor Project's 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, this brief examines the association between a TGNB young person's age of coming out about their gender identity and suicide risk.
The Trevor Project;
Each new year, it is common for individuals to make resolutions associated with a personal goal, such as losing weight (Norcross et al., 2002). Although weight-based resolutions can lead to healthy changes for some, other people may find that resolutions contribute to unhealthy weight-control behaviors or body dissatisfaction, which can be defined as having negative attitudes and evaluations about one's body. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people often report higher rates of unhealthy weight control and eating behaviors, eating disorders (see our brief on Eating Disorders for more information), and body dissatisfaction compared to their straight, cisgender peers (Parker & Harriger, 2020). These issues are of particular concern for transgender and nonbinary youth, who report even higher rates of poor body esteem (Grossman & D'Augelli, 2007). That said, many transgender and nonbinary youth have also reported that their body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behaviors are associated with transgender-specific experiences, such as gender dysphoria and attempts to change one's body or secondary sex characteristics (e.g., breast growth, widening of hips) to better match their gender identity (Jones et al., 2016). Transgender and nonbinary youth also report improved body satisfaction after receiving gender-affirming medical care (Tordoff et al., 2022). While previous research has found that poor body esteem is associated with attempting suicide among transgender youth (Grossman & D'Augelli, 2007), findings have not been replicated with a large, national sample, and data among LGB youth remains limited. Using the Trevor Project's 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, this brief aims to fill these gaps, examining rates of body dissatisfaction and its relationship with suicidality among a diverse national sample of LGBTQ youth.