While all members of the LGBT community face increased hostility and attempts to roll back hard-won rights, none have faced more state-sanctioned hate than members of Florida’s trans community.
Now the United Nations is taking notice and weighing in.
Victor Madrigal-Borloz is the United Nations Independent Expert on Protection Against Violence and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. During his tenth city U.S. tour, he came to South Florida and met with members of Transinclusive Group. They shared some of their successful power-building initiatives, as well as the mounting social and legal challenges facing the trans community.
“Speaking with the United Nations was so important because it broadens our work on a global scale and puts our local community members in a space where we are able to tell our personal stories, rather than having them told for us by people who may have only read about how we’re being impacted,” Transinclusive Group Executive Director Tatiana Williams said.
The message was heard.
“Despite five decades of progress, however, in the United States equality is not within reach, and often not even within sight, for all persons impacted by violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” Madrigal-Borloz said. “In general terms, they are poorer, less educated, less sheltered, and incarcerated more often than their cisgender, straight counterparts.”
The Biden administration has taken steps to extend protections for the trans community through executive orders and rules at departments including Education and Agriculture. He said the real threat, at the moment, is in statehouses across the country, including in Tallahassee.
“I am deeply alarmed by a widespread, profoundly negative riptide created by deliberate actions to roll back the human rights of LGBT people at the state level. These include deeply discriminatory measures seeking to rebuild the stigma against lesbian and gay persons, limiting comprehensive sexual and gender education for all, and access to gender-affirming treatment, sports, and single-sex facilities for trans and gender diverse persons. The evidence shows that, without exception, these actions rely on prejudiced and stigmatizing views of LGBT persons, in particular transgender children and youth, and seek to leverage their lives as props for political profit.”
Transinclusive Group’s Deputy Director, Nic Zantop, said the problem is especially acute in Florida.
“The fight for trans and LGBTQ+ rights is universal, and here in Florida our transgender siblings face widespread discrimination and threats to safety, a profound lack of affordable housing, challenges accessing healthcare and gender-affirming care, and seemingly ceaseless legislative and politically motivated attacks on our community and our right to exist authentically.”