Each June there’s a weeks-long donnybrook in the Letters to the Editor section of our crappy local paper because someone will write to complain about a Pride Month display at the public library or something else that offended them, and others will call the bigot out, and the bigots will angrily respond and so forth.
The paper isn’t picky about what they print unless they think it impugns the (nonexistent) integrity of a local Repub near election time or puts businesses that advertise in their paper in a negative light. I’ve seen material that readers literally copy-pasted from white supremacist manifestos and submitted as part of their letter to the editor, including the “Great Replacement” theory and the “14 Words.”
So my expectations are low. Here’s a snippet from a current letter in which the writer chides a previous letter writer for encouraging folks to respect their LGBTQ neighbors and quit being hysterical, intolerant ninnies: “You may want to consider the Satanic nature of the people you so desire to defend.”
(Matt Spriggs of Homosassa, Florida — you’re a sanctimonious bigot and a goddamned moron who makes Jesus puke, and I hope you choke on a bag of zesty Cajun-fried dicks very soon!)
Anyhoo, when you live in a fascist-run state like I do, sometimes it feels like there are no federal protections. But the Biden admin published a fact sheet today that announced a new set of initiatives to protect LGBTQ communities nationwide. You can read it all here, and here’s the summary:
Protect LGBTQI+ communities from attacks on their rights and safety by launching a new LGBTQI+ Community Safety Partnership and announcing that the Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department will serve as the Department’s liaison to the LGBTQI+ community on issues related to protecting the rights of the community.
Support LGBTQI+ kids so they can thrive by strengthening mental health resources for LGBTQI+ youth, launching a new federal initiative to address LGBTQI+ youth homelessness, releasing federal funding to support programs that help parents affirm their LGBTQI+ kids, and advancing new regulations to protect LGBTQI+ youth in foster care.
Shield LGBTQI+ Americans from book bans that threaten their rights by announcing that the Department of Education will appoint a new coordinator to address the growing threat that book bans pose for the civil rights of students.
I don’t know what will come of it. It sounds like advisory boards and committees will look into this and provide resources for that. But queer people are under siege in multiple states, and it’s good to see the admin acknowledge that and outline a plan to address it. It’s a start. I think that matters.
PS: I love Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Luke Raley. He’s a big guy who runs like a dump truck on the Autobahn, and I am so here for it.