Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-03-03



LGBTQ+ Americans greet the Biden-Harris era with hope, hesitancy
Kate Sosin,

This article shared 926 times since Fri Jan 22, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

To many, the moment marks a new dawn, the end of deeply distressing four years. Others are simply exhausted.

A lot of kids spend their teenage years worrying about dates and dances. Eli Bundy has spent theirs in constant fear of new laws that would limit their health care.

Bundy is a transgender 16-year-old in Charleston, South Carolina, a state that has repeatedly weighed bills that would prevent minors from accessing gender-affirming care like reversible hormone blockers.

I guess there are a lot of people that seem to not want LGBTQ people to live fulfilling lives or to be able to be participatory, active members of society," Bundy said. "I feel like, especially as a teenager, or someone in school, that a lot of the policies that I see being enacted target students."

Growing up under the Trump administration has been stressful, Bundy said. LGBTQ+ organization GLAAD claims the former president waged more than than 180 attacks on queer people over the last four years. The inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris feels like a new day for Bundy.

"In a lot of ways, it's a big sigh of relief to not necessarily have to be worrying about that stuff all the time," they said. "And worrying that we have to fight against everything that comes from Congress, that comes from the White House."

But LGBTQ+ Americans have greeted the Biden-Harris inauguration with mixed emotions. To many, the moment marks a new dawn, the end of deeply distressing four years. Others are simply exhausted, with hope in short supply.

Bre Kidman, a nonbinary attorney and former U.S. Senate candidate from Maine, won't simply be watching to see if the new administration makes good on promises to cement LGBTQ+ protections. They are more worried about the economic challenges facing queer people.

"The biggest thing that we're gonna have to deal with is the way in which people who are experiencing poverty are not given any real voice or advocacy in our government," Kidman said. "I think we have to deal with the economic realities of our situation."

Others are more optimistic. Kim Hunt, a veteran advocate for racial justice and LGBTQ+ equality in Chicago, recalls the whiplash she felt during the first days of the Trump presidency.

"I remember shortly after the inauguration, just the onslaught of harmful policies and actions just coming out so fast and furious from the Trump administration, after eight years of a friendly White House … I just remember, even the first few weeks, just feeling so exhausted," In his time in office, former President Donald Trump banned transgender people from serving openly in the military, rolled back health-care protections for transgender people in the Affordable Care Act, battled LGBTQ+ workplace protections in landmark court cases, defied judge's orders to issue X gender markers to intersex and nonbinary Americans on passports, barred embassies across the world from flying Pride flags, and greenlit discrimination against transgender people in homeless shelters.

Hunt is hopeful about the new administration, but like many, she also sees overwhelming challenges. Hunt is the executive director of the Pride Action Tank at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, a role that has put her at ground zero in the fight against health disparities facing LGBTQ+ people.

Hunt wants the new administration to restore health-care protections axed under the Trump administration.

"A lot of damage has been done to the Affordable Care Act, which everyone acknowledges was not perfect to begin with, but was still a miracle," she said. "And it has been chipped away at in so many places. So that has to be dealt with."

On Wednesday, Biden started to reverse some of that damage, signing an executive order that enforces the Supreme Court's June 2020 ruling that gave LGBTQ+ people federal employment protections. The Trump administration had previously declined to enforce the ruling.

Kimberly Zieselman, executive director of interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, hopes that administration will also advance intersex rights for the first time.

"I'm cautiously optimistic that the nearly 2 percent of people in this country born with variations in sex anatomy, or intersex, will finally be acknowledged and included in crucial federal initiatives addressing everything from data collection and access to affirming medical care, to serving in the military and living free from sex-based discrimination," Zieselman said.

Last year, Lurie Children's Hospital became the first in the nation to ban some intersex surgeries for youth, which advocates can cause a lifetime of trauma and pain. This year, California is aiming to be the first to outlaw the surgeries for children under the age of 6.

Others are less upbeat about the days ahead. Ash Williams, a trans Black femme organizer in North Carolina, feels like little will change for other Black trans people in the South.

"For me, this inauguration doesn't really signal anything," Williams said. "If anything, I'm very worried. I'm worried about who Kamala Harris is. I'm worried about who Biden is … Those conditions that I face, and the people in my community face, those things I don't see changing."

While the nation's largest LGBTQ+ organizations praised Biden and Harris as the most pro-equality ticket in U.S. history during the campaign, some queer people have expressed caution about the duo.

Biden's 2012 announcement that he supports marriage equality cemented his status as a hero to many LGBTQ+ Americans, but young queer voters in 2020 were slower to embrace his centrist message in a crowded field of further left candidates like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

And while Harris championed LGBTQ+ issues on the trail, she was dogged by questions about her history as a prosecutor, including her oversight of California's former refusal to provide an incarcerated trans woman gender-affirming medical care.

Harris was also asked to answer for her support of FOSTA/SESTA, a package of bills that shuttered websites used by sex workers, which many trans advocates claim has fueled an uptick in violence against queer people. Many LGBTQ+ organizations have supported decriminalizing sex work in recent years, noting that transgender women of color, in particular, are engaged in the underground economy, in part due to employment discrimination.

But Kye LaPierre, an advocate for the community, said that despite Harris' past, they are looking forward to the Biden-Harris administration.

"I feel the new administration will be more open and receptive to listening to highly marginalized communities, particularly consensual sex workers," LaPierre said. "There's hope now that our position on full decriminalization will be listened to and taken into consideration."

Published at on Jan. 21, 2021.

This article shared 926 times since Fri Jan 22, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Applications for asylum based on LGBT status top 11,000 between 2012, 2017 2021-03-04
--From a press release - A new study from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law estimates that 11,400 applications for asylum on the basis of LGBT status were filed in the U.S. between 2012 and 2017. Three out of ...

Gay News

Most states are considering anti-transgender bills 2021-03-03
- Legislators in more than half the states are debating bills to limit access to sports or medical care for transgender people, according to an article by The Hill. Across the nation, at least 35 bills have ...

Gay News

Reggie Greer to be White House Senior Advisor on LGBTQ Issues, Victory Institute applauds 2021-03-03
--From a press release - Washington, DC — LGBTQ Victory Institute praised the appointment of Reggie Greer to be President Joe Biden's Director of Priority Placement at PPO and Senior Advisor on LGBTQ Issues at the White House. Greer served as ...

Gay News

Organizations campaign for stamps honoring LGBTQ icons 2021-03-02
- The International Imperial Court System (IICS) of the United States, Canada, and Mexico and the National LGBTQ Task Force have launched a national campaign asking the U.S. Post Office Department to issue stamps honoring LGBTQ icons ...

Gay News

LGBTQ heroes postage stamp campaign launched 2021-03-02
--From a press release - San Diego, CA: The United States oldest LGBTQ organization; the International Imperial Court System (IICS) of the United States, Canada, and Mexico (founded in 1965), and the oldest LGBTQ civil rights organization; the National LGBTQ Task ...

Gay News

Treasurer Frerichs honors Illinois leaders during Women's History Month 2021-03-01
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD — In honor of Women's History Month, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs today kicked off a virtual campaign to highlight and celebrate the achievements of women in Illinois. This year's national theme for Women's Histo ...

Gay News

WORLD Ghana turmoil, Malaysia case, Copenhagen 2021, Brazil churches 2021-02-28
- Anti-gay outcry has forced Ghana's first LGBT+ community center to temporarily close to protect its staff and visitors three weeks after it opened, Reuters reported. Church groups, politicians and anti-gay rights groups have called on the ...

Gay News

Equality Act would provide federal civil rights protections to 13M LGBTs 2021-02-26
--From a press release - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, federal legislation that would expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity under existing civil rights laws. LGBT ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS Chicago alderman exploring secretary of state run 2021-02-26
- According to Politico Playbook, Chicago Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd Ward) is exploring the possibility of running for secretary of state. I know I can build on the work that Secretary [of State Jesse] White has done ...

Gay News

Harris reveals legislative agenda for 2021 2021-02-26
--From a press release - With remote committee hearings starting next week, the Spring Session is now truly underway. I wanted to share my legislative agenda for this year with you. In addition to my duties as chief budget negotiator for ...

Gay News

Mike Madigan picks second successor 2021-02-26
- On Feb. 25, Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar was sworn in as the new 22nd District state representative, media outlets reported. Guerrero-Cuellar is the second person to succeed now-former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan in less than a week. ...

Gay News

House passes Equality Act, LGBTQ Victory Institute demands Senate vote 2021-02-25
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Institute — the only national organization dedicated to supporting LGBTQ elected officials — applauded the U.S. House for passing the Equality Act and called on U.S. senators not to filibuster ...

Gay News

Vaccine eligibility opens to Illinoisans with serious medical conditions 2021-02-25
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Building on efforts to equitably distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Health today announced that Illinoisans with serious medical conditions can be vaccinated ...

Gay News

Dr. Rachel Levine confirmation hearing today, to be first trans Senate-confirmed appointee 2021-02-25
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today Dr. Rachel Levine will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions about her experience and qualifications to be the next U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health. If moved ...

Gay News

Victory Institute condemns Rand Paul attack on Dr. Rachel Levine, trans youth 2021-02-25
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Institute condemned Senator Rand Paul's transphobic attack on Dr. Rachel Levine during her confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He attacked trans you ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.