As 2016 comes to a close, there is no doubt that this year was difficult for many in the LGBTQ and allied community. After a year of such celebration and momentous progress in 2015, 2016 was a shocking wake-up call to many about the realities that LGBTQ people face. From the rise in anti-LGBTQ legislation to the horrific shooting at Pulse, from the incidents of anti-transgender violence to the election of a presidential ticket that threatened to undermine equality and justice, we know that our job is more important now than ever before.
However, through these difficult times, we witnessed countless moments of inspiration. Throughout the year, time and time again, we saw people stand up and do what was right. Whether they were celebrities, politicians, a friend or just an acquaintance, we saw people stand up for equality and inspire us all. Their stories made us cry, gave us hope and reminded us that love will conquer hate.
This year, HRC launched its groundbreaking, new Parents for Transgender Equality Council, a coalition of the nation’s leading parent-advocates working for equality and fairness for transgender people. The council, which includes many of the nation’s most prominent parent-advocates, will connect, mobilize and amplify some of the most powerful voices of love, inclusion and support for transgender people.
Recently, transgender young people have been thrust into the center of the national debate on transgender equality. Increasingly, parents of transgender children and young people have played an integral role in educating the country and pushing back against hateful, anti-transgender efforts in communities and states across the country. This year, more than 200 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced in state legislatures and many specifically targeted transgender students. Similar attacks are expected next year and, despite significant progress over the last several years on transgender equality, the election results have put at risk many advancements at the federal level.
These parents, who are on the frontlines of the fight for transgender equality, constantly inspire us. They are vital in our continuing efforts to defend our progress and change hearts and minds. Moreover, they demonstrate to this country that transgender people are loved and worthy of being treated with dignity and fairness.
We thank all parents of LGBTQ youth who are pledging to make the world safer for their children.
To join the Council and to learn more, visit hrc.im/ParentsCouncil.
Follow along with HRC’s blog in the coming days as we recognize the people who inspired us and gave us hope, courage and strength in 2016.