As we enter a new year together, I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to struggle alongside you in the ongoing pursuit of equality. The year ahead will undoubtedly test our movement like never before. We find ourselves in a world marked by growing global conflict and unrest, where the rhetoric and actions of extremists threaten our lives and livelihoods.

Last year, the Human Rights Campaign made an unprecedented declaration of a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans. This declaration was in response to over 570 state bills being introduced with the explicit aim of harming the LGBTQ+ community, and shockingly, more than 220 of those specifically targeted the trans community. Even more disheartening is the fact that 80 of these bills were signed into law. As the state legislative season of 2024 unfolds, we are already witnessing a wave of harmful bills being introduced.

In this time of crisis, it is important to acknowledge that this is not just one state of emergency; it is the collective experience of millions and millions of individuals in our communities every day.

Many of us are left wondering how we reached this point. Not long ago, change felt not only possible but inevitable. We celebrated milestones like marriage equality, increased representation in corporate leadership, implemented comprehensive diversity and inclusion programs, and expanded rights through proactive policies at state and federal levels. Yet, here we are, caught in the ebb and flow of progress, experiencing setbacks that threaten the hard-fought gains we have made.

In times like these, it can feel like we have lost our power. But nothing could be further from the truth. We are powerful beyond measure, and the numbers speak for themselves. The LGBTQ+ community is more out and allied than ever before. At least 20 million American adults now identify as LGBTQ+, and one in three individuals from Generation Z proudly belongs to our community. To put this into perspective, the number of LGBTQ+ individuals surpasses the total number of registered voters in Florida. Each day, 2,200 LGBTQ+ Americans turn 18 and gain the ability to vote. By 2030, there will be 52 million Generation Z adults in the workforce, collectively generating $2 trillion in post-tax income. Furthermore, by 2040, nearly 20 percent of the electorate will identify as LGBTQ+.

These numbers demonstrate the immense power of Equality Voters, particularly the young LGBTQ+ voters who are stepping into their role as change-makers. We must recognize and harness this power to create lasting change. But we cannot do it alone. It is crucial to forge strong partnerships with corporate America, engaging them in our fight for freedom and equality. Businesses hold significant sway over public opinion, legislation, and societal norms. By collaborating with them, we can ensure they stand on the right side of history, supporting policies and practices that foster equality and inclusion.

The path ahead won’t be easy, but we possess the strength to overcome adversity, effect change and safeguard the rights and dignity of every LGBTQ+ individual. ​​And thanks to you and millions of HRC supporters, we are sending a loud and clear message to MAGA extremists and bigoted politicians all across the country: we are in the fight for equality for the long haul. Thank you for your commitment. Let’s move forward with hope in our hearts and let’s get free.

With gratitude,

Kelley Robinson, She/Her/Hers , President , Human Rights Campaign