By Guest Contributor
Dani Marrero Hi, Organizer, Aquí Estamos
Aquí Estamos commends the directive of President Barack Obama to recognize the right of transgender students in public schools to use the restroom that matches their gender identity. While access to public facilities based on gender identity was already protected by federal law under Title IX, this move adds to the efforts of the federal government to make schools, and the nation, safer for transgender individuals.
We also commend the Department of Justice and Attorney General Loretta Lynch for battling the state of North Carolina and their discriminatory HB2 Law that puts the lives of LGBTQ individuals at risk.
Additionally, we celebrate the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services releasing regulations that, among other things, ban anti-trans discrimination in health care and insurance coverage.
But let us be clear. At Aquí Estamos, an organization committed to helping LGBTQ people of color, we know this step forward from the federal government comes after listening to the pleas of activists and organizers who have for decades called upon them for protection. We know this progress is happening thanks to the endless dedication and commitment of generations worth of arduous activism from the LGBTQ community.
We hope the Federal Government will also soon recognize how other areas, such as immigration detention centers and discrimination in the workplace and in housing, are equally crucial in order to fully protect LGBTQ people.
We will continue fighting for the full liberation and recognition of our community in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, and the U.S.
Aquí Estamos is a youth-led, queer people of color organization in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, a region along the U.S.-Mexico border. Check out the Aquí Estamos website for more information.