Celebrating the Resilience, Strength, and Activism of LGBTQ Communities
By Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund, Inc. | June 22, 2018, 11:03 p.m.
June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, an annual monthlong observance of LGBTQ history, achievements, community, and activism, celebrated with marches, parties, and other events across the country. Despite relentless attempts to undo the progress of the last half century and attack LGBTQ people’s health and lives, LGBTQ communities remain powerful and joyful. This June, we proudly celebrate the resilience, strength, and activism of LGBTQ people and communities.
Pride month commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Riots, the event that sparked the modern LGBTQ rights movement. LGBTQ people, young and old, have stood up to oppression year after year, pushing this country forward. Pride Month is the perfect time for their parents, relatives, neighbors, colleagues and friends to also stand firm against those who would seek to deny rights or services to LGBTQ people, simply because of who they are or who they love. Many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) young people have found the courage and support to be their most authentic selves because of the brave pioneers who came before them.
Despite the progress in the years since Stonewall, LGBTQ people still face discrimination and violence—and legislation at all levels of government continues to threaten LGBTQ people’s ability to access health care, raise their families, and live their most authentic lives. We’re seeing truly appalling bills and rhetoric targeting the LGBTQ communities, especially transgender and gender nonconforming people, and repeated attempts to undo the nearly half-century of progress by LGBTQ activists in the fight for civil rights, justice, and equality.
Since taking office, the Trump-Pence administration has been systematically attacking people’s health and rights, and passing policies that take away the rights of people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, and women. Here are just some of the attacks:
- The Trump-Pence administration failed to recognize LGBTQ pride month for the second year in a row, ignoring the important contributions and legacy of LGBTQ Americans.
- The administration created an HHS office designed to ensure that individuals can be denied access to basic health care and information based on their providers’ personal beliefs — a significant step toward blocking access to care for women, LGBTQ people, and other marginalized people.
- The administration issued a far-reaching Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rule that would allow health care workers to deny patients’ access to care and information for women and LGBTQ people based on their personal beliefs.
- The Trump-Pence administration has nominated and appointed many people with shameful records of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and actions, including Mike Pompeo as secretary of state and Gov. Sam Brownback as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom at the State Department.
- The Trump-Pence administration has rolled back Title IX guidance that prohibits schools from discriminating against transgender students.
LGBTQ people in the U.S. — especially those who are transgender, people of color, or both — are often less able to access quality health care due to the intersections of racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, ableism, and other systemic barriers. As such, they are more likely to rely on federally funded programs to access care. The attempts by extreme politicians to repeal the Affordable Care Act, gut the Medicaid program, and prohibit patients with Medicaid insurance coverage from coming to Planned Parenthood would compound the obstacles that can stand in the way of access to essential and lifesaving health care.
Despite relentless attempts to undo the progress of the last half century and attack LGBTQ people’s health and lives, LGBTQ communities are resilient, powerful, and joyful.
LGBTQ Health Care
All people deserve high-quality, affordable health care and compassionate, nonjudgmental sexual health information. Planned Parenthood health centers provide vital health care services for all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression, and/or gender identity.
Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer communities have unique health care needs. They experience greater obstacles to obtaining and benefiting from sexual and reproductive health services than non-LGBTQ people. Planned Parenthood strives to provide health care that’s inclusive and respectful of all genders and to make sure every person feels welcome, comfortable, and cared for — no matter what.
Resistance takes many forms: Taking care of your health and your body is a form of resistance. Whether gay or straight, trans or cis—resist with your health care by coming to Planned Parenthood for expert sexual and reproductive health care, including cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, birth control, abortion, and other health care services.
Inclusive, Non-Judgmental Sex Education
As the nation’s largest provider of sex education, Planned Parenthood believes in sex education that covers the full range of topics affecting sexual health and meets the needs of LGBTQ people.
Planned Parenthood understands that LGBTQ young people need information that addresses their identities and experiences, so that they have the information and skills to take care of their sexual health.
Trained educators provide sensitive and accurate information, education, and resources on sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity to youth, parents, and men and women of all ages every day.
Advocacy for LGBTQ Justice and Freedom
We have long stood with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the fight for full equality. The progress we’ve seen on LGBTQ rights in this country is rooted in principles that also underlie reproductive rights: that politicians should not get to decide what you do with your body or what your family looks like, and that rights should not depend on the state you live in. As we continue to fight back against those who wish to take this country backwards, we reaffirm our commitment to building a world where no one experiences discrimination or violence because of their gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. We are determined to stand up, push forward, and continue organizing for change.
Lawmakers determine policy and policy can have a real impact on the lives of LGBTQ folks. Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund is working hard to make sure that those who represent us will protect and honor the rights of LGBTQ people, not work against them. With all the anti-LGBTQ policy we’ve seen recently from elected officials, this election is simply too important to sit out. Pledge to vote for politicians who will be champions for our shared values in November → resistpersistvote.org.