Effective advocacy enables individuals and organizations to shape public debate on important issues. It also ensures that we have a voice in the policies that impact our daily lives. If ever there was a time for the LGBTQ+ community to work together with a shared voice of inclusion, this is it. In 2017, LGBTQ+ Community Centers across the nation partnered with CenterLink to form ActionLink – the Center Action Network.
ActionLink enables LGBTQ+ community centers, including Affirmations, and the people they serve to act as effective and powerful champions, protecting the social services, health care, programming, and funding necessary for our communities to thrive. We advise our network of threats and changes to policies affecting the LGBTQ+ population, then offer quick, simple ways to take action.
Combat Racial Violence
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Those words, written over 30 years ago by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, remind us that indifference can never bridge the divide of hate. And, today, they should serve as a call to action to all of us, and to the Movement for LGBTQ+ equality.
This spring has been a stark and stinging reminder that racism, and its strategic objective, white supremacy, is as defining a characteristic of the American experience as those ideals upon which we claim to hold our democracy — justice, equality, liberty.
We recognize we cannot remain neutral, nor will awareness substitute for action. The LGBTQ+ community knows about the work of resisting police brutality and violence. We celebrate June as Pride Month, because it commemorates, in part, our resisting police harassment and brutality at Stonewall in New York City, and earlier in California when such violence was common and expected. We remember it as a breakthrough moment when we refused to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living fully, freely, and authentically.
We understand what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don’t matter. Today, we join together again to say #BlackLivesMatter and commit ourselves to the action those words require.
Click here to watch the powerful weekly update from Affirmations’ Executive Director, Dave Garcia, where he shares his thoughts regarding the racial violence happening in our nation.
Tell your Senators to support the #EqualityAct!
We know that 83 percent of Americans want LGBTQ people protected from discrimination, including 68 percent of Republicans. But right now, that message is being drowned out by a small—but *very* vocal—number of opponents.
According to Capitol intel, they’ve logged hundreds of calls to Senate offices over the last three days, filling Senators’ voicemails with fearmongering about transgender people, in an effort to drive down support for this broadly popular bill.
We’ve spent months building strong support for the Equality Act in the Senate. We can’t let calls from the opposition stop our progress when we’re this close to winning.
THEY THE PEOPLE: ACCESS TO ACCURATE IDS NOW!
Over the last four years, we’ve seen the government intentionally and cruelly cut out trans and non-binary people – from the trans military ban to rollbacks in health care protections to so many others. The new administration has assured us they will work to undo this damage, so we must hold them accountable for their words.
There’s one important action Biden-Harris can take right away to show that they respect and support our trans communities: Give us access to accurate identification.
Specifically, we are pushing in the first 100 days for an executive order directing all federal agencies to implement two critical changes. First, allow self-attestation of gender markers – meaning you can affirm your own gender identity without needing medical verification. Second, add a gender-neutral “X” designation to all federal IDs and records – which allows non-binary and other people to have a more appropriate gender marker than the “M” or “F” options.
Currently, to update a gender marker in the social security system, on a passport, on immigration documents, or on any other federal ID or record – an applicant must submit a letter from a medical doctor attesting to appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.
Not only are such burdensome requirements costly, complicated, an invasion of privacy, and entirely unnecessary, but they prevent many trans and nonbinary people from getting an updated ID to move through the world.
These harmful barriers particularly impact the safety and wellbeing of trans people of color – most especially Black trans people – who are more likely to face harassment when presenting an ID that does not match their presentation.
With one stroke of the pen, President Biden can issue this order to provide a common-sense solution to access accurate IDs, and send a critical message to transgender people across the country: Our government sees you as exactly who you say you are and wants you to be supported and included in this country.