Protect and Empower the LGBTQ Community.

AuthorStrangio, Chase

We are living in a time of great desperation and great resilience within the LGBTQ community. It is a time of escalating attacks, particularly on trans people and communities of color. Each day brings new challenges and devastation.

For black trans women, an epidemic of violence continues to claim too many lives and the entire trans community struggles to access health care, safe education, housing, shelter, and freedom from criminalization and surveillance.

At the same time, our community has thrived and created beautiful networks of support, and achieved unprecedented visibility. It is a time of contradiction and great possibility that demands a progressive platform that understands how policy can protect and empower us.

It is not enough to support only formal equality norms, like passing the Equality Act, ending the military trans ban, protecting marriage equality, and making sure men who have sex with men can still donate blood. These measures, while important, are moderate, liberal interventions and stopping here reflects a failure to connect with the larger aspirations of the LGBTQ community.

We must strive to connect LGBTQ survival to progressive policies generally. This includes passing Medicare for All, abolishing ICE, ending mass incarceration, expanding access to lawful immigration status, decriminalizing sex work, canceling student debt, and other interventions that seek to end income disparity and promote racial and economic justice.

The reality is that the most marginalized members of the LGBTQ community live in poverty, experience homelessness, are being pushed out of schools, denied health care, and are disportionately subjected to incarceration. If we fail to address the root cause of economic and racial injustice in the country, then we fail to address LGBTQ community needs.

A progressive platform must start with this premise. From there, progressive candidates can focus on the unique challenges and needs of the LGBTQ community.

Provide health care

A progressive platform must ensure that everyone has access to comprehensive and nondiscriminatory health care, including mental health care, addiction services, and gender-affirming care. The statistics within the transgender community are staggering. Transgender and non-binary people are routinely denied care, including mental health care in times of crisis.

A comprehensive 2015 survey of trans and non-binary people in the United States found that 25 percent of respondents had...

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