June is the season for celebrating pride, queer love, and being our true selves. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Two-Spirit folks have always been leaders in the movements against violence and towards freedom for everyone. But while pride celebrations fill the streets this month, many communities are also experiencing fear and uncertainty in the wake of rising anti-LGBTQ legislation across our country, increasing stigma and eroding legal protections.
Domestic violence is a big issue in every community, but LGBTQ people experience rates that are higher than for non-LGBTQ folks. Trans folks, bisexual women, LGBTQ people of color, and queer youth are at particularly high risk. Anti-LGBTQ legislation not only threatens the safety of queer communities, but also keeps queer survivors from getting the support and resources they need for their safety and stability.
When laws strip LGBTQ people of their employment or housing protections, survivors who are attempting to leave an abusive relationship or rebuild their lives after violence are left financially vulnerable. When laws attack LGBTQ parental rights, survivors who share children with their abusive partner are left without the custody rights they need to protect themselves and their families. When LGBTQ youth are denied the information, healthcare, and visibility they need to feel seen and supported, they miss out on tools and resources to develop healthy and safe relationships and are at a higher risk for homelessness, violence, and poor mental health.
LGBTQ youth and survivors deserve safety, support, and joyful relationships. We can’t afford to place more restrictions and barriers on LGBTQ survivors’ ability to access healthcare, financial security, and legal protections. This month – and always – as we honor our queer histories and celebrate queer love, let’s continue to work toward safe and joyful futures for all of us.
Want to learn more about supporting LGBTQ survivors in your community? Check out this webinar from the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center on the intersections of Indigeneity, gender diversity, and gender-based violence, Survived and Punished‘s new report on criminalized queer and trans survivors, or our self-study training on Supporting LGBTQ Survivors.