We have entered the era of Rainbow Scar.
Rainbow Scare has a haunting echo of Red Scare and is related Lavender Scar
(as historian David K. Johnson puts it) since the mid-20th century, when concerns about the spread of communism in Cold War
encouraged Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin and others in the United States government to arrest and ostracize those perceived as “communist sympathizers” in collusion with Soviet enemies. LGBTQ+ people are among them – Fired
from their jobs, are forced to seek psychiatric and psychiatric treatment, including electric shock treatment
and is prosecuted as a threat to national security.
This is the period that then-President Dwight Eisenhower signed Operating command 10450
, helped spur a national witch hunt to purge American eccentrics from the federal government. About 5,000 federal agency employees lost their jobs due to their sexual orientation. McCarthy and other leaders have used LGBTQ+ people as a critical issue and scare tactic to justify state-sponsored discrimination, just as right-wing leaders are doing. try today.
Today, far-right officials and community leaders are using LGBTQ+ students as pawns to instill fear (and win votes). Book bans, curriculum censorship and banning LGBTQ+ students and teachers are the latest tactics in a right-wing effort to perpetuate reciprocal discrimination under the guise of culture war.
Rainbow’s fear is evident in more than 200 bills
in state legislatures for the purpose or has been stripped
LGBTQ+ and especially transgender children have the right to access life-saving health care, play sports or even talk about
gender orientation or identity in schools. It is there in concerted efforts book ban
in libraries and schools featuring LGBTQ+ characters or themes. And in bills like who passed
The Ohio House of Representatives, in addition to banning transgender girls from participating in sports – requires a doctor to examine the genitals and verify if a student’s gender is in question.
Even in progressive localities, like my town in Connecticut, a blue state that came in second in passing marriage equality, right-wing school board officials recently, secretly stripped of explicit mention
of LGBTQ+ students from its Title IX policy. They hope no one notices. But we did. Board response: “This policy applies to all students, whether certain languages are available or not.” Painful feeling regardless.
Although the US is one of the worst offenders, the pullback is not limited to the US. Australian actress Rebel Wilson has went out recently
by the Sydney Morning Herald. The newspaper apologized, but this was the kind of media tactic that often upset LGBTQ+ celebrities a few decades ago. Launching has long been misinterpreted as a one-time act rather than a long, often difficult process, but many of us believe that our culture has evolved enough to admit it. that taking away a person’s agency to own their story causes undue harm.
That impact can be measured. The kids are not okay.
Combined with the pandemic, children are facing
higher rates of anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. LGBTQ+ kids and teens are even worse off. 73% of LGBTQ youth have experienced symptoms of anxiety, according to one recent research
of Project Trevor, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing suicide among LGTBQ youth. And another 73% of LGBTQ youth said they had experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Indeed, there is a great effort to return to McCarthyism, to punish those who think freely or out of respect for our differences. The good news for this time is that, unlike the 1950s, most are on the right side of history.
Follow a poll in 2022
of the Public Religious Research Institute (PRRI). Follow a poll in 2022 Gallup
. And the highest number ever, 71%, Americans support marriage equality, according to another poll in 2022 Gallup
I am excited by the support of LGBTQ+ from allies, including leaders, elected officials who are Republican and still side with their LGBTQ+ voters who are adventurous teachers. their own livelihood to provide affirmative space for their gay students; Parents taking the time to learn and grow and support their children, and many locales and small towns across America are hosting their first Pride events this year.
All of which begs the question, where does all this hate come from?
Apparently, Rainbow Scare-mongers are in the minority. Perhaps they grow louder and more unscrupulous in their last, desperate attempts to win a losing battle. Maybe it’s because they’re fighting filth, that they’re going to move fast and win more seats on school boards and other roles, promote benefit recovery, and protect harmful students and LGBTQ+ community. It may get worse before it gets better.
We will continue to stand up and speak up, fighting for the safety of our children – so they can be proud and rise to do great things in the world. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hatred, only love can do it.”
My five-year-old recently brought home a drawing he drew that said “A rainbow exploded near my mother. Then she used an umbrella to cross the rainbow.”
May our legendary umbrellas – allies and supporters – protect us from the Fear of the Rainbow, and may we confidently walk through our storm, our rainbow. bright, in their vibrant colorful spectrum.