Image of a queer youth in rainbow knee socks, pink sneakers, and a skirt.
Access & Inclusion,  US

Anti-Trans Laws are a Queer Travel Issue

Anti-trans laws are on the rise across the country, and it’s leading some queer families to leave homes they love.

Anti-Trans Laws Are Forcing Queer Families to Leave Their Homes

One Alabama newspaper profiled a local family with a teenaged trans daughter that had made the decision to leave Alabama as a result of a proposed law that would criminalize medical professionals for providing gender-affirming care for trans youth. The family loved living in Alabama, but knew it would not be safe to remain under the new law.

As a reminder, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that doctors provide safe and inclusive, gender-affirming care for trans youth.

Hateful laws like Alabama’s seek to punish doctors and nurses for doing their jobs.

Anti-trans laws force families with trans youth to make the choice between staying in the community they’ve raised their families in and denying their child the gender-affirming care they desire and leaving for a more affirming state where their child’s health needs can be met.

There’s a lot at stake in a move. If you own a home, you have to sell it or rent it out. You have to find a new home and a new job, unless yours allows remote work. Certain professions require state licenses, so you may not be able to do the work you trained in without getting licensed in the new state.

Not to mention the emotional impact. Kids are uprooted from friends, schools, and the support systems that have kept them safe so far. Parents lose their support system. Extended family members who might’ve helped provide child care are no longer nearby. It’s one thing to move because it’s your choice; forced migration to protect queer and trans kids harms families.

Sure, but why are we talking about this on a queer travel blog?

Anti-Queer Laws Impact LGBTQ+ Travelers, Too

LGBTQ+ visibility and vulnerability are central to queer travel. LGBTQIA folks want to be themselves in the world, and they need to know how much of themselves they can be when they travel. These new laws make LGBTQ safety an everyday issue by criminalizing our existences and stripping away choices we make to be ourselves.

If you care about travel, you need to care about the rising anti-queer and anti-trans legislation. Right now*:

  • 21 states have full nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans
  • 2 states have some nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans
  • 27 states have no nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans
  • Over 300 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced in 2022 as of April
  • and we’re on track to break records with more anti-queer and anti-trans bills being introduced

Get informed about proposed laws in the places you live or plan to visit. Give your support to grassroots organizations advocating for local queer and trans populations when and where you can. And be vocal about the danger these laws pose to the physical and mental health of all queer people.

*data sources: Freedom for All Americans, NPR, HRC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.