LGBTQ+ Rights

LGBTQ+ Rights

Fighting for Equality for our LGBTQ+ Siblings

As someone with both a gender-nonconforming sibling and a trans sibling, issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community are deeply personal to me. It is long past time that we ensure that all members of our community have access to opportunity, no matter whom they love or how they identify. In Congress, I will fight for all of our siblings, including my actual siblings, to have equal protection under the law.
 
I will fight to ensure the Equality Act becomes law, so that no one can be denied public housing and other government services because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. I support the Do No Harm Act, so that the important religious freedom protections that we have cannot be used to harm LGBTQ+ people. And I support ending the practice of conversion therapy once and for all.

I will also work to ensure that we adequately fund the federal Offices of Civil Rights to have the resources to enforce protections for LGBTQ+ people, and I will ensure that HUD and EEOC have the resources they need to quickly respond to and investigate complaints that they receive about discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.
 
We know that LGBTQ+ youth are uniquely susceptible to bullying and depression. So, we need to pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act, to ensure that schools are enacting codes of conduct that specifically prohibit bullying and harassment; and the Student Non-Discrimination Act, that protects students from being discriminated against for their gender or sexual orientation in any federally funded programs and institutions. We also need to do more to help train teachers to spot when a child is being bullied because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. And we need to increase funding for school-based mental health services.
 
We know that around 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBTQ+, and that trans people experience vastly higher than average rates of homelessness and housing insecurity. So, as we work to end our homelessness crisis, we must make sure that any shelter that receives federal funds does not discriminate against LGBTQ+ people, particularly youth, and accommodates trans people in a way that aligns with their gender identity. We must expand federal initiatives to end youth homelessness and reauthorize and fully fund the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act.
 
We need to ensure that everyone has access to the physical and mental health care that they need. We need to pass legislation that addresses key risk factors for LGBTQ+ deaths by suicide, particularly for LGBTQ+ youth. We need to expand access to PrEP and align federal HIV-specific criminal laws with our current scientific understanding of HIV. We need to ban medically unnecessary genital surgeries on intersex infants and children. And we need to make sure that all trans people have access to gender affirming care.
 
In 2018, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Trans People of Color Coalition counted 26 incidents of fatal transgender violence. And this rate of violence has only continued in 2019. We must end this epidemic of violence against the trans community, especially trans women of color. I support the compilation of disaggregated crime statistics so we can better understand the problem and how to help solve it, and I support increasing funding for law enforcement training on cultural competency and how to identify and respond to these issues. And we need to ensure that when trans people are incarcerated, which they are at a much higher rates than average, they are incarcerated in a way that is safe and respectful of their gender identity.
 
I’ve seen firsthand the hurt and pain that can be caused by misgendering someone. And how easy it is to be an ally by taking the extra time to normalize sharing your pronouns. That’s why I support ensuring that it is easy to access federal identity documents with the pronouns you identify with. I am using my platform to educate people about correct pronoun usage and am striving to use gender-inclusive language throughout my campaign.