June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month so naturally, it makes sense to raise awareness about our culture and the LGBTQ+ community now. While the United States has made great strides in acceptance and tolerance of people who identify as something other than cisgender and heterosexual, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. In 2020, over half of the states and four USA territories have low or no legal policies regarding protective laws against discrimination and many include policies that actually target members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The USA has come a long way since the Stonewall Uprising of 1969 but the LGBTQ+ community is still fighting an uphill battle. Violence is still a huge issue that members of the LGBTQ+ community faces. In 2018, 16.7% of hate crimes were targeted because of bias against sexual orientation and 2.2% were because of bias against gender identity. Between 2017 and 2018, the FBI reported a significant increase in hate crimes driven by gender identity bias.
Transgender individuals are among the most targeted for violent hate crimes, particularly transgender women of color. Just recently, two black transgender women were murdered, Riah Milton and Dominque “Rem’mie” Fells, in the midst of Pride Month and a critical moment in Civil Rights History. Another woman, Selena Reyes-Hernandez, was murdered in Chicago on May 31 after her murderer learned that she was transgender. In 2020, at least 14 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been killed, with many more predicted to be unreported or misreported.
Additional battles the LGBTQ+ community are currently fighting include the right to parent children (five states legally allow adoption agencies to deny adoption to a same sex couple), conversion therapy, employment and housing discrimination, public accommodations (such as bathrooms), healthcare and criminal justice discrimination, and acceptance.
In the midst of a global pandemic, the Trump administration has finalized a rule that will abate protections from discrimination for transgender patients through the Affordable Care Act by declaring that the definition of “sex” only applies to biological sex. LGBTQ+ communities are already struggling to have access to equal healthcare opportunities. Members of the community are more likely to have mental health or substance abuse issues (it is estimated that 20-30% of the LGBTQ+ community abuses substances). Getting help for these issues as a member of the LGBTQ+ community is challenging as there are 37 states where insurance companies can discriminate against gender identity.
Suicide rates among the LGBTQ+ community are disproportionately high. Members of the LGBTQ+ community are likely to seriously contemplate suicide three times as often as heterosexual, cisgender youth. A national study has found that 40% of transgender adults have reported attempting suicide and 92% reported attempting before reaching the age of 25.
Change starts with acceptance.
Historic law passed protecting LGBTQ+ workers:
On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender in the workplace. The law passed by a majority vote of 6-3.
Here at Extreme Vocal Institute we believe that metal vocal education is for everyone and no one should feel that they are unwelcome in this community. We are here to help you make your voice be heard, in whatever way that means to you.