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Biden officially recognises Pride Month, calls for end to transphobia

"I will not rest until full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans is finally achieved."

By Jamie Tabberer

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Wiki

US President Joe Biden has recognised Pride month in a presidential proclamation – and used the opportunity to call out “tragic” rising levels of transphobia.

Biden’s predecessor, the Republican Donald Trump, never formally recognised US Pride Month beyond a 2019 tweet – with RuPaul responding: “Actions speak louder than words.”

Democrat Biden, meanwhile, took a more formal approach, issuing his ‘Proclamation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month’, on the White House website yesterday.

“A tragic spike in violence against transgender women of color”

In it, he highlighted that “nearly 14% of my 1,500 agency appointees identify as LGBTQ+” and called Pride month a time to “recall the trials the LGBTQ+ community has endured and to rejoice in the triumphs of trailblazing individuals who have bravely fought – and continue to fight – for full equality.”

“I am particularly honored by the service of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve in the Cabinet,” he added. “And Assistant Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the Senate.”

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A post shared by Joe Biden (@joebiden)

Elsewhere, Biden names key US sexual equality achievements, including statewide marriage equality in 2015, and 2009’s Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which broadened definitions of hate crimes to include those motivated by sexuality or gender identity.

On trans issues, he said: “Our Nation continues to witness a tragic spike in violence against transgender women of color. LGBTQ+ individuals – especially youth who defy sex or gender norms – face bullying and harassment in educational settings and are at a disproportionate risk of self-harm and death by suicide.

“Some States have chosen to actively target transgender youth through discriminatory bills that defy our Nation’s values of inclusivity and freedom for all.”

The President continued: “I will not rest until full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans is finally achieved and codified into law. That is why I continue to call on the Congress to pass the Equality Act, which will ensure civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ people and families across our country.

“And that is why we must recognize emerging challenges, like the fact that many LGBTQ+ seniors, who faced discrimination and oppression throughout their lives, are isolated and need support and elder care.”

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