A statement from GSA Network’s New Media Youth Council
While equality should not be a matter of politics, in 2020, the human rights of marginalized communities are just that.
Though many LGBTQ+ youth are not eligible to vote, we feel it is still vital that we stay informed on the different policies being proposed that will impact our lives. The right to healthcare, marriage equality, justice systems free of discrimination, and equal opportunities in education are often denied to LGBTQ+ people of color, and we call for reform. Systemic issues plaguing the country, racism in particular, also must be addressed.
There must be LGBTQ-friendly policies implemented in all of our legal systems. There needs to be LGBTQ-inclusive sexual education, LGBTQ+ visibility and representation in our history textbooks, and social and legal inclusion as well as acceptance for all genders and sexualities. All of which we hope will happen in this next Presidential election.
Trans and queer youth are also seeking change through more specific policies that would help cater to our other needs, including mental health resources and health care. With that, we call for an increase in funding for mental health resources in our communities and we call for an equitable health care system accessible to all. Earlier this year, there was a reversal on the previous government’s restrictions for healthcare for transgender people. A rule has been implemented that removes nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people when it comes to health care and health insurance. We need a government that will not reverse the very rules that prevent the discrimination of LGBTQ+ people in our legal and social systems.
It is only when these policies are implemented that the needs of trans and queer youth across the country are adequately met.
There are countless issues resting on the 2020 election, specifically for marginalized communities. In the midst of COVID-19, not only do we need a government that will cater to the needs of trans and queer youth but we need a government that will lead our country out of this pandemic safely. Too many lives have been lost due to this virus that disproportionately targets communities of color.
It is the New Media Council’s hope that the President-elect and all officials voted into office–regardless of their political party or views–will use their power to advocate for peace, love, and health for all individuals living in the United States and in the world. We hope that through this election there will come a time where we as people can freely live our truth.
As part of GSA Network, the New Media Council prioritizes the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and racial justice, and is comprised of 7 youth leaders from across the country. The New Media Council launched in the Fall of 2020 to elevate the voices of trans and queer youth of color, support digital organizing, and create visibility for the issues that impact our community.
Check out our new Civic Engagement Resource Page to learn how to get your GSA engaged in civic engagement and defending democracy.