Posts tagged with "LGBTQ+"

LGBTQ illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Miami Beach Pride Unveils Entertainment Line-Up

Miami Beach Pride is happy to announce its legendary pride celebration will return on September 10-19, 2021 with a hotly anticipated Festival and Parade happening on the weekend of the 18-19 boasting a star-studded roster of almost 100% LGBTQ talent. World-class entertainers such as Walk The Moon, Carson Kressley, Tracy Young, Alex Newell, Nitty Scott, and Ralphi Rosario are slated to headline the pop and latin stages this year as well as host other ticketed events during the week-long celebration. The Miami Beach Pride theme and matra is ONE LOVE, inspired by Bob Marley’s iconic song encouraging us to demonstrate love to ourselves and others, and is also the perfect tribute to the tropical surroundings that only Miami Beach can provide.

“We believe that love has the power to unify us. By reinforcing solidarity and acceptance within our community and with our allies, we can truly begin to create more inclusive spaces that are representative of our amazing LGBTQ community. ” said Rich Walczak, Executive Director, Miami Beach Pride. “The foundation on which this week is built is the concept of self-acceptance and authenticity and why we want everyone to feel like they belong at our celebration this year.”

Miami Beach Pride, working in tandem with local leaders, announced its new COVID-19 protocols and prevention measures (available online soon) for a safe and exciting festival. The organization has been examining the various factors that can lead to disease spread and seeking to mitigate with a host of safety protocols including a campaign encouraging attendees to Stop The Spread and Register For Pride. Updates to the flow of the festival will follow CDC guidelines to include: social distancing, sanitizer stations & distribution, frequent disinfection, increased VIP tent sizes and online registration. Free masks will also be available on-site.

Miami Beach Pride’s online registration portal is now available and ALL pride-goers are strongly encouraged to register. Registration enables the organization to more effectively communicate any changes in local, state and federal COVID19 safety guidelines and increases the accuracy of their contact tracing program. Please note: MBP Festival and Parade is FREE and open to the public.

To further support the health of the community, The Independent Medical Group will also be onsite to distribute thousands of COVID-19 vaccinations completely free of charge. Vaccination facilities will be clearly marked on the festival grounds and open to all attendees.

Weekend VIP packages and tickets to Sweet Spot feat. ULTRA NATE , SOAK Pool Party and Voguing Ball are now officially for sale on our website. For more information on events related to Pride as well as the latest programming, please visit miamibeachpride.com and follow us on Instagram @miamibeachpride.

LGBTQ+ illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

People Mourn the Loss of LGBTQ+ Activist James Hormel

Following the news of the passing of longtime People For board member, LGBTQ+ advocate, and the first openly gay U.S. Ambassador, James Hormel, People For the American Way President Ben Jealous and People For the American Way Founder Norman Lear released the following statements:

“Jim was a true hero, so full of courage, humor and generosity,” said People For President Ben Jealous. “As a longtime board member of People For the American Way, he understood that building power among young people was critical to the future of our democracy. Jim was a truly kind and lovely soul, and his loss will be felt deeply. Our hearts and prayers are with his husband Michael and their extended family.”

“I loved Jim Hormel deeply,” said People For founder Norman Lear. “Through the years he was an incredible asset to People For the American Way, a provider of ideas and insights and deep understanding. He was also a fighter, passionate about so many issues we hold dear, from voting rights to free expression and the fight against censorship. I will miss him tremendously.”

About People For the American Way

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: People For the American Way.

image from Ernest Dukes for use by 360 Magazine

EBHONI — “ROTATION”

“Reclaiming the Toronto R&B crown for women.” — Pitchfork

Toronto R&B star Ebhoni returns today with an edgy, enthralling video for her dreamy single “Rotation.” The cut comes from her July project Good Dick & Weed, and finds Ebhoni over a woozy instrumental, singing an ode to taking control of your love life and keeping your options open. The video echoes that carefree spirit, featuring the artist riding a bike and flexing amidst a crowd of friends and dancers on a summer afternoon. Watch the video for “Rotation” HERE.

In the visual, Ebhoni flaunts a new look that showcases her badass side. With long, colorful nails and blown-out vintage film fuzz, Ebhoni looks like an icon from pop’s past transported to the modern day. Armed with a fun-loving crew, a few low-riding bicycles, a neon pink chore jacket and matching eyeshadow, Ebhoni radiates a cool that feels entirely her own.

The new video arrives amid a hot streak for the singer/songwriter. In May, Ebhoni released the unfiltered, melancholic “Rep It,” the single that kicked off the Good Dick & Weed era. That stunning drop wasn’t even her first of 2021, however. Good Dick & Weed followed February’s “X” EP, which garnered considerable critical acclaim. In addition to Pitchfork plugging the release, HotNewHipHop wrote, “Ebhoni has been one artist to keep an eye out for in the 6ix,” and The Root wrote that her music “makes you feel like you’ve been sipping on a fancy cocktail for the last few hours.” It’s no wonder FLAUNT crowned her “Our favorite new R&B artist.”

Over the last few years, Ebhoni’s string of animated R&B singles has won both commercial and critical success. In the middle of a productive 2019, Pitchfork wrote that she is “reclaiming the Toronto R&B crown for women.” Throughout her career, Ebhoni has made a point to partner with Black-owned businesses, support other women artists and workers, and to uplift the local LGBTQ+ community, which she’s done through efforts like hosting Pride Toronto. Visuals like “Rotation” only bolster the rep she’s built as one of R&B’s most magnetic young stars.

Patrick T Cooper Press Picture via Patrick T Cooper for use by 360 Magazine

Patrick

From wardrobe stylist to CEO, Patrick T. Cooper’s career encompasses over 20 years in design. His prowess for defining creative strategies to fuel brands is what continually ignites Patrick. Innate artistic aptitude makes him a highly sought-after partner for Fortune 500 companies looking to garner consumer brand loyalty. Patrick’s diverse body of work includes corporate partners like Masonite as well as entertainment clients American Idol season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino, rock band 3 Doors Down, and legendary mogul Sean Combs. Patrick T. Cooper’s cutting-edge sense of style and genius allows him to envision beyond the predictable to create thought-provoking content that positively impacts diverse audiences globally.

As an African American man and LGBTQ advocate, Patrick is the epitome of the convergence of eclectic style, art, culture and people. As the official Chief Encouragement Officer, he’s committed to living authentically and celebrating originality. Patrick is also the Lifestyle Editor at 360 Magazine. Patrick’s mantra, “Being a trailblazer isn’t enough if we don’t encourage others to find and live in their purpose!”

Jessie J I Want Love cover via Republic Records for use by 360 Magazine

Jessie J × Billy Porter – I Want Love

Today, GRAMMY Award-nominated multi-platinum pop superstar Jessie J joins forces with GRAMMY, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning Billy Porter to release I Want Love (twocolors Remix) via LAVA/Republic Records.

I Want Love sets the stage for Jessie J’s anxiously awaited fifth full-length album, coming later this year, co-written with and executive produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning mega-producer Ryan Tedder, who has also worked with music legends such as Beyoncé and Adele.

“The post-pandemic dance-track boom is real, and it’s rarely sounded as massive as on Jessie J’s return single I Want Love.” – MTV

“At long last, vocal powerhouse Jessie J returns.” – Billboard

“Jessie J’s I Want Love Is A Candidate for Big Gay Song of the Summer.” – Towleroad 

ABOUT JESSIE J

Jessie J, born Jessie Ellen Cornish, is an English singer/songwriter raised in London. She, like her collaborator Porter, began her career singing in the theatre. She appeared on the West End at age 11 in the musical Whistle Down The Road, before shifting toward pop music and R&B as she got older. She became very popular in her 20s with smash hits like Price Tag, Flash Light, Do It Like A Dude, and Domino – the latter of which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Top 100 chart. 2012 saw Jessie J reach a higher echelon of success when she performed for the Queen of England at her Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace, or when she performed at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She has since appeared as a coach on the television series, The Voice, as well as its counterparts The Voice UK, The Voice Australia, and The Voice Kids UK. After releasing her last album, R.O.S.E., in 2018, Jessie J finally returns to the scene with a surefire hit I Want Love (twocolors remix) featuring Billy Porter. 

ABOUT BILLIE PORTER

Billy Porter is an American actor, singer, director, and style icon. The Carnegie Mellon School of Drama graduate became famous while working on Broadway before embarking on a solo career as an actor and singer. Porter won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for performing as Lola in Kinky Boots, for which he was also awarded the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor, and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album. He later won a Golden Globe for starring in the hit television series, Pose, and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He was the first openly gay Black man to be nominated for and win an acting category at the Primetime Emmy’s. In 2020, Porter was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

LEX LEOSIS TERRACOTTA EP IMAGE Photo credit: Natasha Gerschon from from Leigh Greaney at Big Hassle Mediafor use by 360 Magazine

Lex Leosis – TERRACOTTA

QUEER ALT-HIP HOP ARTIST LEX LEOSIS SHARES EP TERRACOTTA

OUT NOW LISTEN HERE

NEW VIDEO FOR FOCUS TRACK “THAT FEEL” OUT TODAY – WATCH VIDEO HERE

RIYL: Junglepussy, Rapsody, Princess Nokia, Channel Tres, Doja Cat, Anderson .Paak

“a true school emcee” – EARMILK

“incredibly well-rounded” – Exclaim!

“She’s got an attack in her flow, juxtaposed with a finesse in her lyricism and a hunger in her vocal tone. Her family gave her traditions, Toronto shaped her, and California helped form her sound.” – Toronto Guardian

Toronto-based queer alt-hip hop artist, Lex Leosis, shares her EP, Terracotta, today– just in time for peak summer vibes. The now Tiktok rap battle champ is also debuting a brand new video for “That Feel,” which shows an easy, breezy afternoon of skating in the sunshine. Leosis’ signature attitude is in full force in video with her lioness hair, long nails and high energy.

“That Feel” feels like a celebration, and this new release deserves exactly that. The video was shot in both Los Angeles and Toronto. Director, Yohalmo, who is embedded into longboard communities in LA, shot all the California scenes. He brought together the cast and both main characters Shannen Soriano and Laura Paragano. Director, Sharleen Meinke, who also directed the “Wanted” official video, shot Leosis’ parts in Toronto.

The previously released single and outlaw anthem, “Wanted,” arrived with an icon Thelma and Louise-inspired video. The debut single from the project was the sunny, tropical-beat infused, “Won’t Wait,” which showcased a breezy, bouncy beat under Leosis’ vulnerable lyrics and she yearns for real talk and love, but not at the expense of self-worth.

“Won’t Wait” and “Wanted” were produced by Rainer Blanchaer (Drake, The Weeknd, French Montana, The 1975), who is an executive producer on the whole EP. Having met through Leosis’ roommate, Blanchaer became a pandemic pal, and one of the only people she’s seen consistently during lockdown. They’ve used their time making music together in Leosis’ bedroom studio and the result is Terracotta. Describing the new EP, she says:

“In the Terracotta pots process, clay starts by being refined and molded. Through fire, time, and attention to detail…the terracotta pot is complete. I wrote this project through the pandemic. I was coming off releasing “Mythologies” (March 2020) and I was sad that I had to cancel a lot of my roll-out plans. No interviews, shows/tours or celebrations. I put my whole heart into that project and to see that I couldn’t continue my rollout because of the pandemic was a big blow. Instead of letting it defeat me, I decided that it would make me stronger and that I would use this time to rebuild.”

Creating a space to make music in her bedroom, she decided on a re-design for her space to inspire her creatively. She says, “I started looking into color palettes that would inspire the re-design…and there it was Terracotta. The summer had passed and it was getting colder and we were all aware of what was about to happen. Locked down in the cold with little sun. Like a lot of other people, my mental health doesn’t do well in these conditions. My bedroom design had to be warm, it had to be bright and happy. It had to channel summer. The vision of summer 2021 represented a time where this might all be over and things may be better.”

She adds, “So as the pieces of my bedroom start to come together, so does this project. My space is giving me the energy I need to focus every day. I immediately started learning instruments (piano and MPD). The Terracotta bedspread becomes the place I write “Won’t Wait.” I started daily meditation and writing a verse every day. I was lying down on my geometric gray rug when I came up with the hook for “Reality.” I start working out more and envisioning my live show. I was surrounded by plants in terracotta pots when I penned “That Feel.” Then at the end of this writing period, I have a warm, bright home space, at the exact same time as I have this incredible project. One year later and I’m a completely different person.”

Leosis also admits, “The EP definitely had a muse. Someone I really love and has consistently inspired me. This EP details all the feelings I’ve had about them, and consequently, about myself over the last year.” A dedication to the softness that quarantine created in her, a part of herself she didn’t have time to look at before, she also had time to dig through her grandfather’s old jazz records that she loved as a kid. When he passed in 2009, the records were given to her but had been dusty until Covid made her slow way down. The piano, saxophones and live drums on those records inspired the live elements on the new EP and Leosis says, “He had this foresight to leave those to me. We used to sit in his car outside our house and just listen to Jazz and I loved music as a kid.”

Between her quality time with Rainer, her grandfather’s records and her time to be with herself, she found a way to channel summer’s warmth, growth and freedom into 6 tracks. Terracotta is out everywhere now.

Terracotta EP Tracklisting

  1. Khrys’ Intro
  2. Won’t Wait
  3. Wanted
  4. That Feel
  5. Reality
  6. Hold Yah Down

BIO

Known for her dynamic flows, aggressive stage presence and elaborate story-telling, Lex Leosisis a name you will soon remember. With a unique gravely vocal delivery, acrobatic flows, and a mastery of her instrumentation, Lex breathes life into Hip-Hop and mesmerizes with her rapping abilities. Setting herself uniquely apart by holding space for various causes and using her platform to support other women and non-binary artists and creatives, Lex is not afraid to give props where it’s due.

Born in the west end of Toronto, Lex Leosis has dedicated her life to her music and artistry. Juggling her hiphop career, a plant-forward cooking website and catering company, and holding down multiple jobs, Lex prides herself on hard work, discipline and survival, traits she picked up from her mother. It gave Lex the energy to perfect her craft, grow her career and exchange stories with artists from all over the world. Lex is loud, opinionated, constantly fighting for what she believes in and hungry to make something of the Leosis name. She’s got an attack in her flow, juxtaposed with a finesse in her lyricism and a hunger in her vocal tone. Her family gave her traditions, Toronto shaped her, and California helped form her sound.

From humble beginnings, Lex first found a home in hip-hop at rap competitions and cyphers. She met a number of creatives through online rap communities and has up and parted from Toronto multiple times to join her peers in cities all over the U.S. to collaborate, make music and perform. Sharpening her teeth participating in various rap battles, Lex was widely known as a hip-hop force that could outrap anyone. Spending most of her time in the Bay Area of California, Lex has allowed her traveling influences to expand her music sound and capability.

Lex spent 2017-2019 devoting herself to Canadian rap group powerhouse, The Sorority. The group made waves with a 2016 International Women’s Day Cypher, and went on to release a debut album and toured extensively, sharing stages with artist like Miguel, Joey Badass & Snoop Dogg. After the group disbanded in 2019, Lex lead 2020 with her debut full length, Mythologies, a darker trap-heavy project that allowed her to explore her Greek roots and family history. Despite a derailed album release plan due to COVID-19, she followed the project up with summer bop, Pull Up, and the rap/house collaboration, Swerve, with DJ Cazztekand released under Armin Van Buuren’s label, Armada.

Lex found opportunity and inspiration during COVID lockdown establishing a new sound, taking control of her artistry by learning keys, bass and taking vocal lessons. She formed a team of creatives around her and using her tools, experience and community, developed her quintessential Lex Leosis sound with smooth west coast vibey instrumentation under melodious hooks and biting hip hop verses. Searching for an outlet to continue to rap bars, Lex began daily duets on Tiktok and has amassed over a million views on her videos and had drawn the attention of Tiktok Canada and numerous artists from The Arkells to K Flay.

Keep your eyes on this rising star as she continues to blaze her own trail in hip hop.

*Photo credit: Natasha Gerschon

Lex Leosis Wanted Text overlay IMAGE Photo credit: Natasha Gerschon from from Leigh Greaney at Big Hassle Mediafor use by 360 Magazine
Money illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

360 Launches E-Commerce Platform

360 E-Commerce looks to curate hand-picked capsule collections of high-quality lifestyle products to be sold through our new, online shopping interface. These pieces will be sourced from 360’s network of designers, creatives, and contributors.

As our brand is made up of cutting edge tastemakers, customers can rest assured that the utmost quality is sewn into each piece sold. Elements of the capsule will include home décor, high-end furnishings and interior accessories. One of the most noteworthy, luxurious items to be auctioned off to charity is 360’s Swarovski-encrusted, bespoke bottle.

Our new publishing division will be offering signed books from partnered authors. 360 is looking to publish our own writers, as well as expanding our personal network to help find and publishing emerging writers. The magazine will be auctioning off signed books from noteworthy booksellers.

360 E-Commerce aims to host online charitable auctions to for these bespoke collections and book sales. These auctions will operate in a “name your price” fashion that allows for competitive bidding. The proceeds will be going towards several nonprofit organizations that the company works with.

360 E-Commerce’s venture into publishing and curated capsules marks a new foray for the innovative, hip, ever-evolving publication. As with all of 360’s ventures, this new division looks to uplift the voices and art of LGBTQ+ and POC creators, showcase racially and sexually diverse artists, and spread social awareness and progressive change across all forms of media.

360’s E-Commerce platform will host a shopping interface for capsule collections and publishing services, as well as a separate online marketing services shop. With 360’s online marketing services, clients can purchase editorial space within our publication, 360 Magazine. 360’s online marketing services can be accessed HERE.

Georgel Image provided by Cristina Novo and Artistry and Records for use by 360 MAGAZINE.

Georgel × No PutX

Today, queer singer, songwriter, and “funky Mexicano soul” Georgel released his new single “No PutX – Spotify Singles” together with Molotov’s vocalist Tito Fuentes.

“NO PUTX – Spotify Singles” was selected as the first Pride Spotify Exclusive Single by a Mexican Artist. The track is a neo hip-hop that talks about the homophobia and hypocrisy of Latin society in a satirical way, and reaffirms the empowerment of an LGBTQIA+ demonstration that demands equality and justice.

In 1997, legendary Mexican band Molotov released the song “Puto” to a very different audience from the one that exists in 2021. Originally a song of criticism towards Mexican politicians, it became a shadow of homophobia, characteristic of Mexico and Latin America. Now, the word ‘puto’ is forced to redefine itself, since there is no longer any place for criticism for sexual identity or gender identity.

By bringing attention to the real origin of words such as  ‘puto’ or ‘maricón,’ hopefully this song will contribute to the eradication of their use in our vocabulary,” Georgel said. In Georgel’s mind, the only way to achieve it, was by getting together with “Puto’s” original creator, Molotov’s lead vocalist Tito Fuentes, and together write a song that made clear that ‘PUTO’ is no way to refer to anybody, especially any member of the LGBTQIA+ community.

For Molotov, this is a way to reaffirm their own commitment to support and stand in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community.

The music video, which premiered exclusively on Billboard, is a visual masterpiece that shows Georgel fiercely confronting different scenarios of torture similar to many conversion therapy methods. “I wanted to make a short music film about the the many different forms of abuse that members of the LGTBQIA+ community suffer, and how a ‘simple slur’ such as ‘puto’ can torture a human spirit,” Georgel said.

With “No Putx – Spotify Singles,” Georgel is taking back a word that was used to hurt him, and removing its power over him. He’s turning it into any other word by removing the taboo, stigma, and the negative connotation that it has, that way, it won’t have power over anyone. “The only thing that’s ‘puto’ is the ‘puto’ machismo” Georgel says.

STREAM EXCLUSIVELY ON SPOTIFY HERE.

WATCH THE VIDEO ON BILLBOARD HERE

Fuse Media Pride image given by Megan Beccari for use by 360 MAGAZINE.

Fuse Media x Pride Month

Continuing the new season of its growing Future History franchise, Fuse Media is celebrating Pride Month throughout June by honoring the Future LGBTQ History makers who are currently using their voice to drive positive change and whose impact on the world will be talked about in the future.

The LGBTQ History Class of 2021 will be spotlighted through a short-form video series that premieres this week on the Fuse digital and social platforms, as well as its Fuse and FM (Fuse Music) linear channels.

The Future LGBTQ History Class of 2021 is:

  • Lil Nas X for breaking any expectation that he’s a one trick pony and using his elevated status to express himself on his own terms.
  • Carmen Maria Machado for continuing to break boundaries for queer authors and bringing new perspectives to sci-fi and horror fiction with the collection, “Her Body and Other Parties.”
  • Trans icon, role model and top model Isis King, one of television and fashion’s most visible transgender person. For many, seeing themselves represented on the screen and the catwalk is a welcome affirmation.
  • Composer, artist, cellist and singer, Kelsey Lu who shares their activism and emotions through their art and will make an impact for years to come.
Transgender illustration by Heather Skovlund (Original Photo Credit: Pixabay) for 360 Magazine

Parents Open Letter to Lawmakers

1,500+ Parents of Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender-Expansive Youth Condemn Anti-Trans Bills in Open Letter to Lawmakers

More than 1,500 parents of transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth — from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico — signed a letter imploring elected officials to oppose anti-transgender bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country.  

The letter — organized by the Human Rights Campaign’s Parents for Transgender Equality National Council — was sent to elected officials Monday morning.

The letter comes in response to a fast and furious effort led by national groups aiming to stymie LGBTQ progress made on the national level and in many states. There are currently more than 200 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of these discriminatory bills, 106 directly target transgender people, including efforts to ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity and prohibit evidence-based, life-saving health care for transgender youth.

“Transgender kids all across the country are listening to what you say and watching what you do. The act of writing bills like this, holding hearings, and later casting votes sends a direct message to them: ‘You aren’t real to us. We don’t believe you when you tell us who you are. Your existence is dangerous to the other kids around you. We are okay if you feel lonely, isolated, and unwelcome. We are willing to take away even the smallest concessions that have been made for you because we have power and you don’t,’” the parents wrote. “Transgender folks are so tired, tired of fighting for their existence. And parents like us are tired of begging you to see our kids and treat them as full and equal members of society.”

“Transgender children are children. They deserve the ability to play organized sports and have access to medically necessary care, just like all children. These bills are cruel — and parents are not going to be silent when elected officials attack their children through discriminatory legislation,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. “Transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth impacted by these bills are among the most vulnerable to experience depression and engage in self-harm, including suicide. Legislators must realize the seriousness of this issue and remember that they were elected to lead — not call into question whether certain children have the right to exist, to be happy, or to live authentically.”

“As a trans person, I know what it means to have lawmakers try to write me out of existence — imagine being a trans child trying to cope with this reality. There is a coordinated attack on transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth being waged in state legislatures across the country and it is having a devastating impact on the mental health of kids, who just want to be kids,” said Jay Brown, Senior Vice President, HRC Programs, Research & Training. “Parents will not back down when it comes to protecting their children, and they will not tolerate their elected officials using their positions of power to harm and further oppress them. We will never give up hope that if people — including elected officials — hear from people at the center of the policy debate, and their loved ones, that their hearts will open, and their minds will change.”

The full letter is below.

April 12, 2021

Dear Elected Officials,

Many of you are sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or considering voting for legislation that would force transgender children to participate in sports based on a letter on their birth certificate rather than who they are – or not participate at all. Some of you are also sponsoring, co-sponsoring, or considering voting for bills that would criminalize best-practice, evidence-based, life-saving health care that transgender youth need (and deserve!) to thrive. 

Parents of transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth like us have called you, sent you emails, and have showed up in the midst of a global pandemic to testify about how devastating these bills are…not only if or when they pass and become law, but also right now because, by whipping up a firestorm of attacks on our kids, they have already caused damage to our families.

Parenting during a pandemic is hard enough. The fact that these bills exist at all—that the lives of our children are up for debate in any state in this nation—adds a layer of worry to an already fraught time. Let’s be clear: the impact of these bills goes far beyond sports and medical care; they call into question whether our children have the right to exist, to be happy, to live authentically. The answer is yes. They absolutely do.

We have shared studies with you explaining that trans youth are more susceptible to struggle with anxiety or depression, not because they are transgender but because of stigma and discrimination. You have heard that being able to participate in sports and being on a team with friends and classmates can improve their mental health. You have heard adolescents tell you how afraid they are of experiencing the wrong puberty or how terrified teenagers are of having their medically-prescribed hormones denied to them. 

This isn’t the first time. We tried telling you all of this a year ago before the pandemic thankfully cut many legislative sessions short and these bills floundered. After hearing some of these concerns last year, a senator in Missouri was quoted dismissively saying “We can’t be responsible for everyone’s mental health.”

We are pointedly telling you now that you actually are responsible for the mental health of these kids. We are holding you personally responsible for the amount of stress, anxiety, and fear our precious children are currently struggling with. We are holding you responsible for how some of our children are crying themselves to sleep every night, asking why so many people hate trans kids and want them to suffer. You are the reason they are asking to move somewhere where they will be protected, because their home doesn’t feel safe anymore with you in charge of creating its laws.

You were elected to your positions to lead. And leaders understand that in our great but imperfect system of government, we favor the concept of “majority rule, minority rights.” Leaders do not use their positions of power to harm and further oppress a struggling and hurting minority.

Transgender kids all across the country are listening to what you say and watching what you do. The act of writing bills like this, holding hearings, and later casting votes sends a direct message to them: “You aren’t real to us. We don’t believe you when you tell us who you are. Your existence is dangerous to the other kids around you. We are okay if you feel lonely, isolated, and unwelcome. We are willing to take away even the smallest concessions that have been made for you because we have power, and you don’t.”

Transgender folks are so tired, tired of fighting for their existence. And parents like us are tired of begging you to see our kids and treat them as full and equal members of society. 

Here is a powerful quote from Nomi Ruiz, a Puerto Rican trans woman, artist and performer, that we’d like you to take time to think about…

“The outside world will never truly understand the magnitude of the trans experience, especially that of a child who has an undying need to live in truth despite being ostracized for it. The only way for trans children to thrive is to allow them to live freely in the face of a society that abuses them for it.”

Stop abusing our kids by creating legislation that targets them. Kill these bills now and leave our kids alone.

Justifiably angry,

Parents of Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender-Expansive Youth