By Joshua Gaylord, CSU Marriage and Family Therapist Intern
In 2021, 33 states created bills to repress the rights of transgender individuals. By the end of 2021, more than 290 anti-LGBTQ+ bills had been introduced.
Last month, a government censorship bill was passed in Florida. If signed into law, the bill would ban classroom discussions related to sexual orientation and gender identity in schools. Many refer to this as the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans Bill.”
With these recent events in mind, it’s important to note the many groups and organizations actively fighting for LGBTQ+ rights.
Many trans youth experience bullying, family rejection, and discrimination that increases their risk of suicide. From a national Transgender Discrimination Survey in 2016, 41 percent of those who identified as transgender reported that they attempted suicide once in their lives, a statistic that is likely to have increased over the last six years
In 2021, one-third of the anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in the U.S. sought to ban gender-affirming health care, with a now banned Arkansas law resulting in at least six suicide attempts by trans youth. Organizations such as True Colors provide a safe haven for trans youth during times where many are facing harm and discrimination from state laws.
Resources for trans individuals:
- For a list of gender affirming medical providers, trans housing, mental health resources, financial assistance, and family resources please visit The National Center for Transgender Equality.
- If you are part of the Fort Collins and Colorado State University community, the Pride Resource Center provides services and programs to support LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff. Learn more about the resources for trans students on the Trans on Campus webpage.
- If you or a loved one are experiencing thoughts of suicide, text HOME to 741741 to speak with a crisis counselor or call 800-273-8255.
- Read on for more information about True Colors, a non-profit organization that supports queer youth.
Housed in Flint Hills, Kansas, True Colors is a nonprofit organization with the central goal of supporting queer youth through advocacy, education, and providing direct access to support services. Founded by Jayme Morris-Hardeman on October 1, 2021. True Colors is a nonprofit looking to make roots.
“The founder just wanted to make a safe and affirming space for their kids,” said Katie Curtis-Baker, director of True Colors.
True Colors has been making strides to create a house for queer youth, named “Ethan’s House,” in memory of the director’s son who died by suicide in 2019.
“Ethan was a proud trans Mexican man who would go to school wearing the trans flag as a cape,” said Curtis-Baker. “He loved loving people and telling them how much they were loved.”
Ethan, who “Ethan’s House” is being named after.
Ethan’s House will officially open on July 1, 2022. The house hopes to provide the following:
- Access to mental health resources – in collaboration with Curtis-Baker Therapeutic Services
- Access to gender affirming haircuts
- Group meals
- A gender affirming closet
- Access to wigs, binders, etc.
- A banned books book club
- Comprehensive sexual education and resources
- Safety for LGBTQ+ youth
True Colors is new and looking for allies. To get involved virtually or in person, reach out to True Colors on Facebook and Instagram. To support True Colors, this project, and its mission, visit True Colors on PayPal.
In memory of Ethan, rest in power.
If you would like additional support navigating the realities of this time, the CSU Center for Family and Couple Therapy has registered counselors available to meet with you now. The CFCT is currently providing all Colorado residents low-cost individual, couple, and family online video sessions during daytime and evening hours to fit your schedule. To schedule an appointment, please call (970) 491-5991 or email email@example.com.