June is Pride Month and this month also is the sixth anniversary of the horrible hate crime shooting where 49 people were killed and 53 others wounded at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and most of the victims were Latino, LGBTQ+ or both.
We all must stand up to hate and there are signs of growing tolerance in the Latino community.
Overall, 62% of Latinos said they were comfortable around people who identify as LGBTQ+, according to a recent Axios/Ipsos poll in partnership with Noticias Telemundo. Some 25% did not give an opinion and 11% said they were not comfortable with the LGBTQ+ community.
However, among the younger generation, 76% of third generation and 72% of second generation Latinos said they were comfortable around people who identify as LGBTQ+.
Indeed, the number of Latinos who identify as LGBTQ+ is growing and has more than doubled in the past decade.
Latino LGBTQ+ identification was 8% in 2020 and 11% in 2021. By contrast, just over 6.2% of white adults and 6.6% Black adults identify as LGBTQ+ in 2021, according to a Gallup poll.
LGBTQ+ people are part of our familias; they are our parents, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters and should be given all the love and respect.
In California, we have the most progressive laws that protect the LGBTQ+ community.
New LGBTQ+ laws went into effect in January 2022, from ending gender-based toy aisles to enhancing services for older adults living with HIV.
California is the first state in the country to track violent deaths, including suicides and homicides, in the LGBTQ+ community. Another law allows “nonbinary” as an option for gender identity on death certificates.
California Education Code Section 220 prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression — in addition to sexual orientation and other protected characteristics — in public schools or non-religious private schools, according to the ACLU. A school must respect a transgender or gender non-conforming student’s gender identity and/or expression.
However, the anti-LGBTQ+ laws in Texas and Florida are damaging to the LGBTQ+ community and to the large Latino populations in those states.
What has become known as the “don’t say gay” law started in Florida when Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the state’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill in March. But more than a dozen other states are proposing similar laws. The proposals are varied but generally would prohibit schools from using a curriculum or discussing topics of gender identity or sexual orientation.
An order from the Texas Gov. Greg Abbott would require authorities to investigate parents for child abuse if they provide gender-affirming treatments for their kids.
Legislators in more than half the states in the U.S. have proposed or passed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, according to the bipartisan group Freedom for All Americans. More than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ laws have been introduced in state legislatures over the past year, according to the Biden Administration.
President Biden issued an executive order on Wednesday to address the states’ legislative attacks on the LGBTQ+ communities.
The Hispanic Federation pledged $1 million on Tuesday to LGBTQ+ groups through a new initiative called Advance Change Together. The federation is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering Latino communities.
The Trevor Project, which offers suicide prevention and crisis intervention programs for youth in LGBTQ+ communities, recently announced it will offer more services in Spanish and expand its hotline to Mexico City.
Still, much more needs to be done to fight the rise in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across the country. We can work together at the personal, statewide and national level to make sure that the LGBTQ+ community is protected.