Republican attacks on transgender Americans and transgender youth, in particular, have skyrocketed in 2021. Roughly 150 anti-trans bills combined have been introduced in over 30 state legislatures this year, setting a new record for anti-trans legislation in a single session.
More broadly, several hundred anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced this year, but the uptick in hate bills targeting the transgender community has been stunning over the last several years. In 2016, a presidential year, the number of anti-trans bills introduced in state legislatures numbered around 55 and then fell off over the next few years, reaching a low point of 19 anti-trans bills in 2019.
In 2020, another presidential year, the number spiked back up again to 66. But instead of falling off again this year, the introduction of anti-trans bills has nearly doubled.
The attacks are unconscionably cruel to a demographic of kids who already suffer from higher rates of depression and suicide. Nonetheless, now that Republicans have surrendered one-time conservative principles such as fiscal austerity at the altar of Donald Trump, they are desperately searching for cultural flash points that will drive their voters to the polls. GOP lawmakers are clearly seeking to resurrect their playbook from the 2000s when same-sex marriage bans swept the country in 2004 and 2006.
Today, we’ll explore the personal, political, and legal implications of the GOP’s latest attack on the LGBTQ community and trans youth, in particular, with Vivian Topping, director of advocacy and civic engagement at the Equality Federation, and Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.