2022: The Year With the Most Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation


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Izaias Pirila, Staff Writer

2022 is one of the most open and accepting times in all of human history, yet some of the most vulnerable communities are still under attack. From Florida’s “ Don’t say gay “ bill to the hundreds of bills that strip the rights of trans and queer youth, and most recently the Club Q shooting, anti-LGBTQ+ prejudice has risen tremendously. 

One of the most infamous and well-known anti-lgbtq+ bills is Florida’s “ Don’t say gay “ bill. Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, known as the “ Don’t say gay” bill, has caused tremendous amounts of controversy, rightfully so. This bill prohibits teachers and school personnel from giving instruction related to gender identity or sexual orientation to students from kindergarten to third grade or “in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” School personnel violating this act are subject to lawsuits from the parents of the children and being stripped of their teaching lessons. Following Florida, 20 other states proposed similar laws. Nearly all of them failed, besides Alabama’s which got passed and later codified by Alabama’s Board of Education.

Since the beginning of 2022, almost 240 bills have been proposed  “that seek to exclude or target LGBTQ+ people” according to The American Civil Liberties Union. With 21 being of them being passes. This includes Florida’s infamous Parental Rights in Education Act, bills that strip transgender teens from seeking gender-affirming care, and restrictions on curricula regarding LGBTQ+ issues. Out of those 240 Anti-LGBTQ+ bills, 17 have been from Arizona. Which includes bills that seek to limit school curricula, restrict trans students’ right to play sports with their preferred gender, and a bill that would allow teachers and school administrators to purposely deadname and misgender transgender and non-binary students without punishment. 

In 2018, 41 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were proposed, this is a stark contrast compared to the 238 Anti-LGBTQ+ laws proposed in 2022, with 150 of them being anti-trans laws per American Civil Liberties Union, Freedom for All Americans. If LGBTQ+ acceptance has been at an all-time high, why have there been so many Anti-queer and Anti-trans legislative pieces? 

Whilst pushing for these bills, Republicans, and conservative political commentators have argued these bills are meant to provide parental oversight over what is taught and keep sports fair. Another point of contention is Republicans arguing gender-affirming care for minors is harmful, as they believe significant decisions should not be made at this age.

Although these arguments may seem normal to those who are oblivious to LGBTQ+ issues, each one of these arguments is flawed for many reasons. First of all, trans athletes make up less than .01 percent of all students who participate in sports. Next, gender-affirming care is incredibly successful at preventing transgender teenagers from committing suicide. A 2021 study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that trans youth that took gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) were 40% less likely to attempt suicide.

Even though things may seem bleak, this is not a time to give up hope. Uplifting and supporting LGBTQ+ communities is more important than ever. You can do this by donating to organizations like the Trevor Project, which provides suicide prevention counseling, or by simply being kind to any of your LGBTQ+ peers, and befriending them.