The LGBTQ community faced increased attacks from the Trump-Pence administration in 2017 -- and that included LGBTQ children and young people.
This year, parents and guardians across the nation stepped up to publicly support LGBTQ youth like never before. Here are just a few of the parents who inspired us with their allyship, immeasurable love for their children, and commitment to full equality for all.
“My child is not evidence that Satan’s plan is working, and let me be clear; no child is.”
In a 2015 speech he called “The Church and Homosexuality,” Jeff Mateer, an anti-LGBTQ extremist, said transgender children are evidence of “Satan’s plan.” Two years later, Trump nominated Mateer for a federal judgeship in Texas.
Knowing that Mateer’s confirmation would harm LGBTQ people like her transgender son, Sarah publicly and emotionally shared her family’s story and the dangers of appointing extremists like Mateer to positions of power at a rally in Washington, D.C.
Because of Sarah’s powerful testimony, as well as additional LGBTQ advocacy efforts on the ground in Texas, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley announced that Mateer would not be confirmed for a seat on the federal bench.
“Their attempt to stop this discussion about transgender children and transgender youth really backfired on them because it spearheaded a campaign for inclusivity.”
Amy Lyle of Mt. Horeb, Wisc., took matters into her own hands after learning that a national anti-LGBTQ group was targeting a local first grade transgender girl and threatening to sue the school if her teacher read the class I Am Jazz, a book about a transgender child.
In an amazing display of allyship that is continuing to resonate nationwide, Lyle hosted a reading of the book in her small town’s local library. More than 600 people showed up to support the young transgender girl and her family.
In the spirit of Lyle’s commitment to community inclusion, the HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools program just celebrated its third annual National I Am Jazz School and Community Readings. The event encourages communities to read I Am Jazz in honor of this brave and caring mom, and members of her community who showed up for transgender youth because it was the right thing to do.
“We didn’t vote for you or put you in [office] so you can bully our children.”
Angie, a Texas mom of a transgender daughter, spoke directly to Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in an HRC video about the harm the anti-transgender legislation would visit upon the state -- and her child. “You’re turning our worst fear into reality,” she said.“You’re supposed to protect [children], and you’re not protecting them.”
Her words resonated. State legislatures across the nation introduced more than 100 anti-LGBTQ bills this year, but thanks to parents of transgender children like Angie, abbott and Patrick’s discriminatory efforts were stopped in their tracks. The 2017 Texas special legislative session ended without any new anti-transgender legislation being passed.
“We love our daughter. We are out here because we have an obligation to make sure that she has a healthy life.”
When the Trump-Pence administration rescinded the Obama administration’s guidance protecting transgender students, JR Ford, a parent of a transgender girl in Washington, D.C., spoke out. Joining HRC President Chad Griffin, National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling, and transgender trailblazer Gavin Grimm outside the White House, Ford gave an emotional testimony about the need to continue to fight for transgender youth. Warning: get your tissues ready.