By Heather Betz, Director of NYLAG’s LGBTQ Law Project
When I look back on my career advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, I’m proud of the progress that has been made to ensure many of the liberties we were denied for so long.
But recently we’ve seen a scary string of setbacks in states across the country that threaten the very identities, safety, and health of LGBTQ+ people, especially children and youth. From measures preventing children from even learning about gender identity and sexual orientation, to laws keeping young people from receiving life-saving gender-affirming healthcare, to bans on trans youth playing sports, there are so many efforts to prevent LGBTQ+ people from being fully recognized and respected as human beings.
Help Us Fight for LGBTQ+ Rights
In New York, thankfully our LGBTQ+ neighbors are largely shielded from some of these new measures. But at NYLAG, we see every day how our LGBTQ+ clients are still discriminated against in immigration, housing, and employment. Our clients include:
- Trans women seeking safety in the United States from their home countries
- Survivors of trafficking and hate crimes
- Children who are bullied in school because of their identities
- Workers who face discrimination at work
- Non-biological parents who need to secure their parental rights
- And many others
Our work with individual clients often saves lives. But to address the structural injustice our community faces, it can’t stop there. With fellow advocates, we’ve worked to solidify laws ensuring equal rights and protections for LGBTQ+ New Yorkers. Our most recent victory led to the passage of the Gender Recognition Act, which removed barriers LGBTQ+ New Yorkers faced in changing their names and gender identities to reflect who they are.
The LGBTQ+ community has had to fight for generations for the rights we have now. And these rights are only upheld by us and people like you who are standing alongside us.
NYLAG is in this fight. And we need you. Give in any amount you can to support this urgent work.