Image - speaker photo and pride flags
Image - speaker photo and pride flags

Legislating Hate: The Legislative Assault on Transgender and LGBTQ+ Americans

With unprecedented numbers of anti-trans and anti-LBTQ+ bills being presented in state legislatures across the country, Tiffany Woods says it is critical that we stand up and fight for trans, nonbinary, and LGBTQ+ people now more than ever. In 2023, more than 500 anti-trans bills have been introduced in 36 states across the country, rolling back decades of progress on trans rights fueled by transphobia, deliberate misinformation, discrimination, and misplaced fear under the false guise of “protecting children, girls and women.”

These bills by GOP lawmakers across the country have been focused on prohibiting trans health care for youth, and at least 10 states have already passed such bans. Proposed bills range from gender-affirming care bans, bans on transgender youth participating in sports, bills that bar trans people from using bathrooms that correspond to their gender, and LGBTQ school censorship on what schools can say about LGBTQ people, to drag bans and bans on name and pronoun changes on government-issued documents.

Trans youth, who have been the primary focus of anti-trans legislation this year, are experiencing a mental health crisis: A 2022 survey by the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention group focused on LGBTQ youth, found that 86 percent of trans or nonbinary youth reported negative effects on their mental health stemming from the political debate around trans issues, and nearly half had seriously considered suicide in the past year. We will highlight the worst of these legislative attacks and the collective efforts to fight back from communities impacted and the states protecting trans and LGBTQ rights.

About the Speaker

Tiffany Woods is a nationally awarded LGBTQ+ leader and chair emeritus of the California Democratic Party LGBTQ Caucus, the first trans woman elected a caucus co-chair, and a member the Democratic National Committee’s Transgender Advisory Committee. In 2020, she was honored by the California Legislature’s LGBTQ Caucus as a 2020 Pride Honoree. She has 21 years experience in public health with expertise in HIIV prevention and trans health and is currently serving as the first state transgender health manager at the Office of AIDS, Prevention Branch, California Department of Public Health, where her primary responsibility is the development and coordination of departmental and statewide programs and trainings focused on gender and trans health education, with a focus on statewide coordination of HIV prevention services related to the health and well-being of transgender individuals in California.

This program contains explicit content.

Image - Tiffany Woods

Tiffany Woods

State Transgender Health Manager at the Office of AIDS (OA), Prevention Branch, California Department of Public Health

Image - Patrick L. O'Reilly

Patrick L. O'Reilly

Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist; Chair Commonwealth Club Psychology Member-Led Forum—Moderator