Identity Crisis: State violence targeting our LGBTQIA+ Siblings

In 2023, the legislative bodies and state governments within the United States have been calling for the “eradication” of members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Presently, states like Missouri have passed legislation that directly attacks gender-affirming care for trans youth. Also, the governor of Florida is currently waging a relentless legislative attack on trans individuals as well as the LGBTQIA+ community at large. Homophobia, transphobia, and violence against the LGBTQIA+ community are not new; and it is not exclusive to the United States. Globally, people who identify as anything other than socially pre-assigned cis-hetero binary gender identities are experiencing increasing levels of violence against them.

 

March 21st, 2023, the Ugandan parliament passed an anti-LGBTQIA+ legislative bill that directly impacts the lives of many human beings. The 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Bill doubles down on the “crime” of being queer. It goes further to invoke the death penalty on anybody determined to aggressively assert their homosexuality. Aggressive assertion is outlined as consistently having sex with those of the same sex one was assigned at birth. It also includes same sex intercourse with those who are disabled. The bill also attacks people’s right to privacy when it comes to their sexual partners. Essentially, if someone is out and proud of who they are as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, or at an even more bare level, as a human being a part of society, they would be considered “promoting sexuality” thus at risk of state violence under the guise of this heinous anti-human legislation. This bill also encourages surveillance and the decimation of the community by criminalizing those that do not speak up and say something about the sexual actions of their queer loved one, they could face state violence as well.

 

This bill was designed to seek, kill, and destroy the LGBTQIA+ community, the disabled community, as well as prey upon marginalized people that do not wish to add another reason for the state to enact violence against them. As a Black non-binary femme in the United States, I hold my siblings in Uganda within my heart with so much love and care. Legislative bodies around the globe are bolstering systems of oppression to attack queer, trans, homosexual, intersex, and anybody else who does not conform to the colonial social gender and sexuality norms established by the oppressors. Before European colonization, specifically by the British, the continent of Africa maintained a very open and knowledgeable stance when it came to the continuum of sexuality and the spectrum of gender. The spread of fundamental Christo-fascism during the colonization of Africa has made living out loud in many places like Uganda very difficult.

 

While these bills are upfront and outright targeting queer people, they are somewhat covertly infringing upon the rights of disabled individuals. In both American state legislatures and the bill the Ugandan parliament recently passed included disabled people. In a lazy Trojan horse move, governments across the world are solidifying systems that will not only oppress seemingly separate identities, but it oppresses all of those who do not have a close proximity to power. In Kansas, on March 29, 2023, the House legislature outlawed trans women in “female” spaces, like shelters for example, and arbitrarily defined intersex people as disabled. By codifying this legislation at the state level, a system is erected that will seek those that fit the baseless definitions within the law, create a space for and demand the death of these marginalized individuals, and ultimately destroy anything that does not fit the increasingly Christo-fascist agenda of the state at large.

Our siblings are being attacked and their right to express themselves freely is being violated. When I learned that my home state, Tennessee, planned to outlaw drag shows in the state, I could not help but feel a chill come over my body. The thought of drag shows being outlawed, the move being one that would criminalize trans people, made me question how long it would be before I was criminalized for living as a non-binary femme. When would they come for me as they came for my siblings? That fear is something I wake up with and go to sleep with daily. Living in the United States has made me keenly aware that if something is codified to attack one marginalized group, understanding intersectionality, it attacks all marginalized groups and is ultimately a death knell for all of us; that is why community and other resources are so important.

As humans, we all are born with human rights and one particular right is the right to life. The United States, Uganda, and many other countries colonized by British rule, have made it abundantly clear that they will eliminate those that do not have a close proximity to power and do not check off the white, abled, cisgendered, hetero, wealthy, etc. social identity boxes. They are utilizing tactics that seem to attack separate and specific marginalized groups, when in actuality, these laws and bills are directly piercing the intersectional joints that create our unique social identities. Now is our time as the citizens of these oppressive and colonized states to demand the end to the destruction of our communities and the attempted decimation of our loved ones.

Now, as we navigate our present social circumstances, is the time for us to stand in the gap for our LGBTQIA+ siblings, loved ones, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and acquaintances. Governing bodies have made it clear through their legislation and state violence that they are willing to do anything to get rid of those they deem “undesirable” or the ones they have oppressed into the margins of society. We must use our voice to demand equitable access to abortions; we must vote out those lawmakers that are dedicated to eliminating gender affirming care for our trans and gender non-conforming youth. Creating dedicated safe community pods for all of our neighbors is an overdue necessity. The Movement for Black Lives (MB4L) Black Love campaign in February is a great place to start and it should be extended into a Black Love Year because February is not the only time we need to support our Black LGBTQIA+ siblings. We have the right to hold our government accountable if they are not governing in a way that is beneficial to the people, now is the time for us to do exactly that. Call your state and federal representatives and let them know that this crusade against the LGBTQIA+ community is not only a threat to us all, but it will not be allowed to continue: we the people will keep us safe. At Global Foundation for Girls (GFG), we support the needs and advocate for the human rights all of our Black LGBTQIA+ siblings require to live a full life. Please consider getting involved with GFG by volunteering or making a donation today at https://globalfundgirls.org/donate/.