I kicked-off pride month in San Francisco, California. As a West Texan, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to celebrate, so I was looking forward to getting to experience PRIDE in a beautiful, rainbow-filled city with my son by my side. I was so, so sad to discover most of the major PRIDE events didn’t happen until the end of the month. It was a major bummer for me.
Not that it matters, but I want to be clear - I’m not LGBTQ. Neither is my husband or anyone in our families (that we know about). But, like with many things in our lives, we don’t have to experience something personally to be able to empathize and support groups that are often pushed to the margins of society. There is absolutely no doubt in our minds that our LGBTQ friends deserve equal treatment. That love is love. That our son will be raised to love ALL people despite their sexual orientation, race, gender, religion, or background.
There is also absolutely no doubt that the LGBTQ community is pushed to the margins every. single. day.
I remember cheering and crying with joy when same-sex marriage was legalized in 2015 because I (naively) thought this would fix everything. That it was a milestone and a giant banner to show our LGBTQ neighbors that we see them, we love them, and we support them.
But think we all know that’s NOT the case.
As I was working on this post, I discovered a headline by Dallas News that read “Texas scores poorly in new assessment of states' LGBTQ friendliness”. Intrigued, I clicked on the article and was immediately heartbroken. I wish I could say I was surprised, but I wasn’t…
Texas scored a 38.1 out of 100 on the report by Out Leadership that graded states based on LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace and legislative protections to ensure equal treatment. We ranked 45th in the nation overall.
LGBTQ conversion therapy is still legal here.
1 in 4 people said they’d be willing to take a pay cut to move to a more inclusive state.
“Though some cities have enacted their own protections, Texas has yet to implement statewide protection against discrimination of LGBTQ individuals.”
Transgender health care is not covered by Texas Medicaid.
So many people aren’t protected and supported by the state they live in. By their families, friends, and neighbors. Instead of staying put, fighting for their rights, and continuing to contribute to the Texas economy and their communities, they want to leave. And I don’t blame them.
For all of my amazing LGBTQ neighbors and friends, I love you. I’m here for you. If you feel alone or unheard, have lost your families, or need a friend, I’VE GOT YOU. You are loved AS YOU ARE and I’m proud to have you in this world.
You can read the full Dallas News article here.