(Monday, September 26, 2022) GLAAD condemns a wave of violence against the LGBTQ community across the country and calls for increased protections and support for LGBTQ people and youth, as new data reveals that a vast bipartisan majority of Americans, including 66% of Republicans support LGBTQ inclusion in public school curricula.
The targeting of LGBTQ youth and their allies has hit a fever pitch with an alarming surge of violence against LGBTQ people, many of which were encouraged to take place via social media posts. Incidents span coast-to-coast and include hospitals and healthcare providers serving transgender youth, advocacy groups, LGBTQ community centers, drag events and more:
September 24: St. Paul, Minnesota: A drag story hour was met with protests (and supportive counter-protestors) after extremists threatened to "dress like ninjas and beat the librarians to death" if the event continued.
September 24: Gainesville, Florida: The Pride Community Center of North Florida was vandalized and a threatening note was left by the perpetrator.
September 24: Katy, Texas: Various white supremacist groups, including The Proud Boys, protested at a church, where a family drag bingo charity event was taking place.
Week of September 19: Baton Rouge, Louisanna: More than 2,100 high school students were reportedly taken to a transphobic and sexist church service advertised as a "college fair," where they were separated by their assumed genders and forced into discussions that included a directive for women to forgive their rapists and offered money for male students who did pushups.
September 18: Pflugerville, Texas: Last week, neo-Nazis waving swastika flags protested a drag brunch after the Texas GOP posted an 'alert' about the event on Twitter.
September 2022: Boston: Earlier this month, FBI agents charged a Massachusetts woman with making a bomb threat against Boston Children's Hospital. Similar threats, often driven by Libs of Tik Tok, have targeted children's hospitals in DC, Portland, Seattle, and Chicago.
And in libraries: Rising anti-LGBTQ censorship in schools have hit a historic peak this year, with at least 93 anti-LGBTQ school policy bills filed and a record-breaking 1,651 books banned in 2022, outpacing the number of banned books in all of 2021, with 41% of books banned or challenged in 2022, written by or about LGBTQ people.
Quote from Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD:
"Everyone deserves to be safe in their communities, especially youth. No one should be scared to go to school, the library, the hospital, or their local community center because of violent extremist threatsyet that's the reality right now for so many youth across the country. LGBTQ youth and the community need protection, including expanding investigations for violent acts, better monitoring of extremist groups organizing across digital platforms, and a stop to anti-LGBTQ propaganda and misinformation. Our leaders must step up."
All this comes as a new Ipsos poll for ParentsTogether ( view at Website Link Here ) , suggests that while a divide remains on a wide range of issues impacting students, a majority of Americans, including a majority of Republicans feel that discussions about race, gender and LGBTQ people should be allowed in schools.
The Ipsos poll for ParentsTogether also found that, when it comes to recent state laws banning books or making it illegal for teachers to talk about LGBTQ or racial issues, 60% of Republicans say that these laws are not about students, they are about politics, with 86% of Democrats agreeing.