In Jordan, one of the few countries in the Middle East where same-sex relations do not incur a criminal penalty, the government has initiated a crackdown on LGBTQ+ activists in a coordinated campaign of intimidation.
According to a report released by Human Rights Watch on Tuesday, interviews with 13 prominent LGBTQ+ activists in the country reveal tactics of intimidation and abuse forcing activists to cease their advocacy work or flee the country altogether.
Russia’s Supreme Court declared all LGBTQ+ supporters as “extremists.” Now a Russian company is tracking queer-friendly businesses.
In the past, Jordan has promoted itself as a modernizing influence among Middle Eastern nations compared with its neighbors. The country’s sodomy laws, dating back to British rule, were repealed in 1951.
“Jordanian authorities have launched a coordinated attack against LGBT rights activists, aimed at eradicating any discussion around gender and sexuality from the public and private spheres,” said Rasha Younes, senior LGBT rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Security forces’ intimidation tactics and unlawful interference in LGBT organizing have driven activism further underground and forced civil society leaders into an impossible reality: severe self-censorship or fleeing Jordan.”
The report details how Jordan’s General Intelligence Department (GID) and the Preventive Security Department of the Public Security Directorate have interrogated LGBTQ+ activists about their work, intimidated them with threats of violence, arrest, and prosecution, and forced activists to shut down their organizations.
Some activists have been kidnapped without legal cause and interrogated overnight.
Other tactics have included smearing activists online based on their sexual orientation and deploying other social media users to out activists online and incite violence against them.
In addition to interviewing 13 LGBTQ+ rights activists and others associated with the Jordanian LGBTQ+ community, HRW reviewed statements by government officials, nongovernmental organizations, and individuals, as well as visual media provided by activists documenting incidents of online harassment against them in public social media posts.
One victim, the director of an unnamed LGBTQ+ center, says he was forced into a car by authorities and interrogated overnight. GID agents called his parents and outed him, he said. Others detailed the forced cancellation of events in Amman, the Jordanian capital, and multiple instances of online harassment.
All of the activists targeted described the intimidation as a serial effort, with each of them summoned for interrogation multiple times. Three of the activists described interrogations by the governor of Amman, who interviewed them after they preemptively canceled the screening of a film depicting gay men.
Two organizations’ directors said they were forced to shut down their offices and flee the country following official intimidation.
“We arrived in a foreign country without any plan or support,” said one organization leader who fled with his boyfriend. “We had no choice. Since I fled Jordan, I consistently wake up screaming in terror. It has been the hardest experience I have ever been through.”
One LGBTQ+ activist who has remained in Jordan described her current reality: “Merely existing in Amman has become terrifying.”
As Republican-led legislatures have limited or banned access to gender-affirming care for trans people across the country, states like New Mexico are witnessing a large influx of “gender refugees” seeking healthcare.
Over the past two-plus years, nearly two dozen states have instituted limits or bans on gender-affirming health care for trans youth and adults. While trans people in red states seek out alternative sources of care and places to live, larger states and metropolitan areas like San Francisco and New York can prove prohibitively expensive.
So smaller states like New Mexico, Minnesota, Colorado, Vermont, and Washington, with prohibitions on restricting gender-affirming health care and a lower cost of living, are attracting a crush of trans patients seeking care.
They’re being met with waiting lists.
“I feel really excited and proud to be here in New Mexico, where it’s such a strong stance and such a strong refuge state,” Molly McClain, a family medicine physician and medical director of the Deseo clinic, which serves transgender youth at the University of New Mexico Hospital, told CBS News. “And I also don’t think that that translates to having a lot more care available.”
The strain is affecting new patients and longtime New Mexico residents, as well.
“With the influx of gender refugees, wait times have increased to the point that my doctor and I have planned on bi-yearly exams,” said Felix Wallace, a 30-year-old trans man and longtime resident.
Anne Withrow, a 73-year-old trans woman and Albuquerque resident for over 50 years, sought care from a new provider at the University of New Mexico after her doctor retired.
“They said, ‘We have a waiting list.’ A year later they still had a waiting list.”
A year after that, Withrow managed to get care from a local community-based health center.
As of October, UNM’s Truman Health Services clinic still wasn’t taking new patients.
At the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, T. Michael Trimm says the center used to field two or three calls a month from people out-of-state considering a move.
“It has steadily increased to a pace of one or two a week,” he said.
“We’ve had folks from as far away as Florida and Kentucky and West Virginia,” as well as families in Texas “looking to commute here for care, which is a whole other can of worms, trying to access care that’s legal here, but illegal where they live.”
In New Mexico, the problem is compounded by a physician shortage.
A 2022 report revealed New Mexico lost a staggering 30% of its physicians in the previous four years. The state is on track to have the second-largest physician shortage in the country by 2030, with the oldest physician workforce.
Despite the obstacles, Trimm says “trans folks can be very resilient.”
While a waitlist isn’t ideal, he says it’s easier to endure “than the idea that you maybe could never get the care.”
The Christian anti-LGBTQ+ legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) — defined as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center — is hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn state bans on so-called conversion therapy for minors. Though the court hasn’t agreed to take on the case just yet, it provide insight into how ADF plans on challenging more conversion therapy bans in the future.
The ADF is providing legal counsel to licensed marriage and family counselor Brian Tingley in Tingley v. Ferguson, a legal challenge to Washington state’s ban. Tingley says the ban violates his rights to free speech and free exercise of religion, The New Republic reported.
Tingley’s petition to the court says that his speech as a therapist should be considered as “speech” and not professional “conduct.” He said he “lives in continuous fear of government persecution” because the ban “forbids him from speaking, treating his professional license as a license for government censorship.” Tingley says he should be able to offer conversion therapy — even though it has been widely disavowed as a form of psychological torture by numerous American mental health organizations — because some kids are actively seeking to change their sexual orientation.
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His case may actually be aided by the 2018 Supreme Court decision National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra which said that the government couldn’t “compel” or “regulate” anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers in California to inform pregnant people about state-funded reproductive health services.
However, Georgia State University law professor Anthony Michael Kreis told the aforementioned publication that the cases are different. Bans on conversion therapy aren’t trying to force Tingley and other therapists to say things they don’t want to say, Kreis argues. Rather, he reasons, state bans are trying to prevent medical conduct from resulting in “tangible harms.”
A 2013 survey showed that 84% of former patients who tried ex-gay therapy said it inflicted lasting shame and emotional harm. Additionally, March 2022 peer-reviewed study from The Trevor Project showed that 13% of LGBTQ+ youth nationwide had reported being subjected to conversion therapy. Of those, 83% were subjected to it before reaching the age of 18. The study showed that young people who underwent conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to attempt suicide afterward. Numerous conversion therapy advocates have later come out as still gay and apologized for the harm that conversion therapy causes.
Furthermore, Kreis notes that the bans provide specific exemptions for “purely religious” speech and also that the government already heavily regulates the professional fields of therapy and healthcare. Thus, the bans are just an extension of that.
Katherine Franke, a law professor at Columbia University, said the ADF will use similar free speech arguments to try and overturn regulations involving professional conduct.
“We have all sorts of regulations for licensed mental health professionals, and the patients rely on this kind of safety that those licensing requirements impose,” she told The New Republic. “Opening the door in this kind of case… opens the door to quite a few other situations where a person may have an objection to what is a public norm or an expert judgment about the safety of other people. It shouldn’t be your private decision that you’re not going to agree with that and therefore [will] not follow that law, when that is a condition of your licensure.”
The methods of so-called conversion therapists include encouraging queer people not to masturbate, redirecting their sexual energy into exercise, “covert aversion” (a fancy name for imagining possible negative consequences of being queer), Bible study, directing same-sex sexual desire onto opposite-sex partners, inflicting pain and humiliation anytime LGBTQ+ feelings arise, and forcing people to act out stereotypical gender roles in behavior and personal appearance.
Twenty-nine U.S. states have either passed full or partial bans on conversion therapy for minors. In three of those states — Alabama, Georgia, and Florida — court injunctions have stopped the bans from going into effect while legal challenges to the bans proceed in court.
If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org. The Trans Lifeline (1-877-565-8860) is staffed by trans people and will not contact law enforcement. The Trevor Project provides a safe, judgement-free place to talk for youth via chat, text (678-678), or phone (1-866-488-7386). Help is available at all three resources in English and Spanish.
Anti-LGBTQ+ House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) didn’t just agree with Justice Clarence Thomas’ suggestion that the Supreme Court should revisit its 2015 decision legalizing same-sex marriage — he applauded it.
The court’s 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationstruck down Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to abortion in the U.S. In his concurring opinion, Thomas included a footnote asserting thatby striking down the legal basis for Roe, the court had called into question every other decision using the same reasoning.
Thomas went so far as to specifically name the Supreme Court’s decisions in Obergefell v. Hodges and Lawrence v. Texas, the cases that established the legal right to same-sex marriage nationally and struck down anti-sodomy laws, respectively.
The same day that the court released its Dobbs decision in June 2022, Johnson cheered Thomas’s footnote on conservative pundit Todd Starnes’s radio show.
In an audio recordingresurfaced by CNN this week, Johnson touted his years of experience fighting against same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption, and same-sex marital benefits as a senior attorney for anti-LGBTQ+ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) prior to being elected to public office.
“We’ve been sort of working against these activist courts for years,” Johnson said. “I was in those courts for 20 years, in federal court litigating these big cases, religious freedom, pro-life cases before I got elected to Congress in 2016.”
“There’s been some really bad law made,” Johnson continued. “They’ve made a mess of our jurisprudence in this country for the last, you know, several decades, and maybe some of that needs to be cleaned up.”
“What Justice Thomas is calling for is not radical,” he added. “In fact, it’s the opposite of that, you know? We finally have a majority of originalists on the court, and all that means is that they want to fairly interpret and apply the Constitution as it’s written, as the framers of the Constitution intended. That’s the basis of our whole system of government, and we have to get back to that. And that’s what he stands for, and we applaud that.”
In addition to his work for the ADF, which included work for a now-defunct anti-LGBTQ+ Christian group that promoted so-called “conversion therapy,” he wrote several editorials in the early 2000s criticizing the Supreme Court for striking down anti-sodomy laws. His editorials also opposed same-sex marriage and argued against non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people.
Gay, lesbian, and bisexual young people are more likely to use alcohol, e-cigarettes, cannabis, and tobacco than their heterosexual peers, a new study has found. Researchers say that stress from sexual orientation-based discrimination is to blame.
The study — published this autumn in the American Medical Association’s open-access medical journal, JAMA Network Open — looked at data on the habits of 28,291 middle and high school students taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
About 4.5% of student respondents self-identified as gay or lesbian, and 11.8% self-identified as bisexual. These percentages represent about 4,611 of the respondents.
Researchers found that 29.3% of non-heterosexual youths had used alcohol in the last 30 days, compared to 21.6% of heterosexual youth. About 25.6% of non-hetero youth self-reported cannabis use over the last 30 days, compared to 14% of heterosexual youth. Approximately 26.2% of non-hetero youth self-reported e-cigarette use, compared to 16.4% of hetero youth. Lastly, 9.1% of non-hetero youth self-reported cannabis use over the last 30 days, compared to 4.6% of heterosexual youth
Researchers found that bisexual youths were especially more likely to have vaped cannabis oil and e-cigarettes than their gay and heterosexual counterparts.
“It is well-documented that minority stress (eg, stress from sexual orientation-based discrimination) is associated with youth substance use, which may be consistent with vaping cannabis,” the study’s authors wrote. “Preliminary evidence from this study may inform future prevention strategies directed at reducing substance use disparities among sexual minority youth.”
The study’s findings reflect similar findings from past studies. A 2018 surveyfrom the Ohio Department of Health showed that LGBTQ+ teens were more likely to have vaped or smoked in the last 30 days compared to their straight counterparts.
The representatives — Reps. Ken Buck (R-CO), Kay Granger (R-TX), Michael Burgess (R-TX), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), and Victoria Spartz (R-IN) — all voted against the 2022 Respect for Marriage Act, a law that requires the federal government to recognize legal same-sex marriages.
“The Republican House is failing the American people again,” Spartz said. “[The House is] like a theater full of actors in the circus…. Our children will be ashamed of another worthless Congress.”
“Right now, Washington, D.C. is broken; it is hard to get anything done,” Lesko said in a statement.
“I always have been disappointed with our inability in Congress to deal with major issues, and I’m also disappointed that the Republican Party continues to rely on this lie that the 2020 election was stolen,” Buck said. “Our nation is on a collision course with reality and a steadfast commitment to truth, even uncomfortable truths, is the only way forward.”
Buck predicted that even more House Republicans will leave “in the near future,” The Hill reported.
These announced departures accompany recent unrest among Republicans following a contentious three-week search for a new House speaker after the previous one, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), was ousted by far-right Republicans for striking a deal with Democrats to pass a stopgap funding bill to avert a federal government shutdown. With another shutdown looming, the new speaker, rabidly anti-LGBTQ+ Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), seems poised to do the exact same thing.
Trump also seems highly likely to clinch the party’s presidential nomination, putting Republicans nationwide in the uncomfortable position of either supporting Trump’s anti-democratic stances or angering his loyal (and large) voting base. While recent national polls show Trump beating President Joe Biden in key swing states, polls also suggest that large swaths will stop supporting Trump if he’s convicted of any of the 91 federal criminal charges facing him.
It’s likely that the departing Republicans — especially those from conservative-leaning districts — will simply be replaced by Republicans who are similarly anti-LGBTQ+. But the departures signal a widening rift between Trump’s small but influential MAGA wing and the party’s more moderate members.
A nonbinary teacher in Florida was fired for using the gender-neutral title “Mx.” Now they’ve filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that could challenge the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.
According to WMNF, AV Vary recently came out as nonbinary and began using the title Mx. They say they informed the principal at Florida Virtual School (FLVS), a statewide online public school where they taught physics, of the change. “I let him know that I was doing it. And he didn’t say anything at first, and then about a month later he told me he needed me to change it,” Vary said.
On September 15, Vary received a written directive from the school letting them know that Ms., Mrs., or Miss were the only acceptable titles for them to use at work, the Orlando Sentinel reports. In late October, they were fired for refusing to use a title that did not align with their gender identity.
While FLVS spokesperson Laura Neff-Henderson would not comment on the reason for Vary’s termination, she told the Sentinel, “As a Florida public school, FLVS is obligated to follow Florida laws and regulations pertaining to public education.”
Earlier this year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law an expansion of the state’s infamous Parental Rights in Education Act, commonly known to critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law. H.B. 1069 includes restrictions on the pronouns and titles both students and public school employees can use.
But Vary notes an inconvenient wrinkle in the law. They told WMNF that they discussed using other gender-neutral titles with FLVS. “I was told that professor was not okay, Dr. was not okay for me because I didn’t have a Ph.D., but there are lots of people at FLVS who do use Dr., which, coincidentally, is also in violation of the same law I got disciplined for,” they said.
H.B. 1069 states that “an employee or contractor of a public K-12 educational institution may not provide to a student his or her preferred personal title or pronouns if such preferred personal title or pronouns do not correspond to his or her sex.” But the law does not address gender-neutral professional titles like Dr., which is used by people of all genders.
Vary has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and hopes to challenge the Florida law. “I can fight this fight. I can be unemployed for a little while,” they told the Sentinel, citing their husband’s income. “I feel very strongly in standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.”
Florida state Rep. Anna Eskamani (D) said that Vary’s situation is exactly the kind of thing opponents of “Don’t Say Gay” feared when the law was passed. She also noted that “it’s pretty ridiculous to terminate teachers over something like this” during the state’s ongoing teacher shortage.
In September, Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar told Fox 13that there were more than 7,000 teacher and support staff vacancies across the state. He said that the Parental Rights in Education and Stop WOKE Acts have contributed to the crisis.
In 2008, Dan Leveille, 35, was studying computer science at the Rochester Institute of Technology when California voters passed Proposition 8, eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry in the state. It was a sucker punch to the queer community, including Leveille, who found himself wanting to bring order to how he thought about LGBTQ+ rights in the US.
His solution was Equaldex, a passion project that visualizes the state of queer rights not only at home but around the world. The site has become a trusted resource for governments, the media, and LGBTQ+ travelers everywhere.
LGBTQ Nation spoke with Leveille about Equaldex from his home in Los Angeles.
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LGBTQ Nation: What inspired you to come up with an LGBTQ+ rights visualization tool?
Dan Leveille: When the Prop 8 stuff happened, I got pretty interested in it. And then there were a lot of states that were legalizing same-sex marriage, and a lot of laws were changing. And I remember at some point I was like, “Wait, did that state legalize it? When did that happen?” And I’m like, “Wow, I wish there was like some sort of site that showed all of these changes, like, a map.”
I launched it in 2014.
LGBTQ Nation: How did you envision it being used by others as you were building it?
DL: I first imagined it for my own use just tracking all the changes. But the number of countries that criminalize being gay, the number of countries that, you know, jailed people or even have the death penalty, that stuff is really compelling. And maybe the LGBTQ activists know this, but the general public might not. And I think bringing to light those facts is very important. This could kind of put pressure and visibility on the parts of the world that aren’t progressing.
LGBTQ Nation: What are some of the unexpected ways that Equaldex has been used since you put it up?
DL: One thing that is very obvious, probably, but just didn’t occur to me is how it’s used as a travel guide. That wasn’t immediately obvious to me, but it makes perfect sense. There’s been a lot of interest from travel agencies so that travelers will know, “Oh, this country you’re visiting, these laws, you might want to be careful or reconsider.”
General Electric, they use Equaldex data for some of their internal systems for traveling for employees. It makes sense because companies want to be careful about where they’re sending their employees, especially if there are laws against being gay.
LGBTQ Nation: Does General Electric throw you some bucks for using Equaldex?
DL: No, it’s generally not really a big deal to me. If a company wants to apply this data, I don’t have any issue with it. I like keeping the service free, just in principle.
LGBTQ Nation: GE could make a donation for your trouble.
DL: Yeah, for sure.
LGBTQ Nation: What’s the most LGBTQ+-friendly country on the planet?
DL: Currently I have this system on the site called the Equality Index, which ranks legal rights and public opinion. It’s a newer metric that I added. The countries with the highest ranking right now are Iceland, as number one, and Denmark and Norway. Malta, the Netherlands and Canada are up there.
LGBTQ Nation: And what’s the country you identify as the most hostile to LGBTQ+ identity?
DL: If you’re looking at the Equality Index, the Middle East and Africa are generally the worst in terms of both the laws and the public opinion there.
LGBTQ Nation: You’re looking at the data pretty much every day. What are some of the trends that you can point out?
DL: That’s a good question. Outside of the Middle East and Africa, there’s definitely a lot of progress being made overall. I focus a lot on the US, and polling has shown overwhelmingly that, you know, things are moving positively in terms of the public opinion. Even Republicans and religious groups, they’re moving to being more open.
LGBTQ Nation: In the US, do you see the wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in red states as an anomaly, or is there anything in the data that indicates maybe those right-wing Republicans are on to something?
DL: Some of the US polls have shown that while it is becoming more accepted, it also is starting to polarize the more people are being exposed to it. So they have a lot of opinions on it. You know, you see things like drag queen bans and all those book bans and stuff, so people might form an opinion, whereas before, maybe they didn’t have an opinion. It’s interesting. We’re seeing a lot of progress in the US, but there are definitely some laws that are going backward. Hopefully it doesn’t continue that way.
LGBTQ Nation: The site would be a big undertaking for anyone, let alone somebody who’s just doing it as a passion project. Did you ever think, “I’m way over my head on this?”
DL: Yeah, definitely. Especially with big publications and even some governments and organizations that reference Equaldex. So when I see, like, the UN referencing it in one of their reports, I’m like, God, it’s a lot of pressure. Fortunately, I built Equaldex in a way where I don’t need to change everything myself, with such a big community of users who are contributing.
LGBTQ Nation: Tell us about those volunteers.
DL: When I first started Equaldex, there were a lot of people who were very interested in the project, and I got a handful of people who were just super passionate about it. They were super crucial in the first six months to a year of the site. Like, we had all these countries with no data, and people were just going in, adding all the laws. We’ve added a Discord community, as well, that has been really great at attracting editors and moderators.
LGBTQ Nation: Who pays for all of this?
DL: I pay for it myself. It’s not super expensive to run. And I share the cost with a pretty successful gaming app I run called Dododex, which is a companion app for the game ARK. And that helps to pay for software and Chat GPT to help program and stuff.
LGBTQ Nation: What’s the participation rate in some of those red countries for people who help out with the site?
DL: It’s very low. It’s challenging, especially when there are language barriers, too. But in really red countries, those users probably don’t want to publicly join a service like Equaldex, for reasons you can imagine. Fortunately, there are a lot of international organizations, research organizations who dig into the laws and maybe expose some of the things that are happening there, and we do have a handful of contributors who are from countries more familiar with those places.
LGBTQ Nation: Who are some of your go-to’s for the information you’re putting up?
DL: When we’re sourcing laws we try to get to the actual government site that shows what the law is. Unfortunately, sometimes what the government is saying is different than what they’re actually doing. We reference some big LGBT organizations like ILGA. The UN has some great resources exposing things in these homophobic countries. And of course, you know, reputable sources, the BBC, CNN, sites like yours who are reporting.
In terms of like, public opinion, there are a lot of really great organizations like Gallup that are always our go-to’s in terms of public opinion data.
LGBTQ Nation: What’s new on the site?
DL: I am working on a new feature that will — I hate to call it, like, a Yelp for LGBTQ rights, but it’s kind of that same idea where you’ll be able to share your opinion of the state or the province or the country that you lived in and share how comfortable you were about being open in public. What are politicians like? Are there out celebrities? Things like that. If you’ve lived there you have more experience, and it helps people who are traveling, so they can be like, “Okay, definitely don’t hold hands with my partner in public.” And even like, hotel reservations. In some countries you shouldn’t reserve a single bed with your partner in the same room. Stuff like that is good to know, and you might not think of it.
LGBTQ Nation: What’s been the most satisfying part of Equaldex for you so far?
DL: I think seeing the big publications and organizations use the site. There are a bunch of Ivy League schools that reference Equaldex for their students when they’re traveling. The UN, the UK Government, the US government, they’ve all read it and reference it. It makes me really proud, like, “Wow, this is something that people are very interested in.” So it kind of validates the work I’ve been doing for many years.
At a more personal level, hearing that people use it and it’s super helpful is super validating. When people say, like, “Oh, I always use it. Make sure to check Equaldex before you travel,” it’s really rewarding to hear it’s helpful to people in that way.
“The experiences of non-binary youth in organized team sports in Canada have been drastically understudied,” said researcher Martha Gumprich.
“Our report found that many youths avoid team sports due to abuse and discrimination but there are some solutions that would make sport more inclusive for non-binary participants and benefit everyone.”
Two-thirds of non-binary youths surveyed said that their reasoning for not joining an organised sports team boiled down to rules that would force them to play on a binary-gendered (men’s or women’s) team.
Meanwhile, four out of five non-binary youths said that they had avoided joining an organised team sport because of the layout of changing rooms or locker rooms.
Half of those surveyed said that they had avoided organised sports teams because of the teammates and coaches. Similarly, half opted not to take part because of discriminatory comments they had witnessed.
Finally, one in six non-binary youths avoided organised sport because they had witnessed someone being physically harassed because of their gender.
Compared to their US neighbours, Canada hasn’t been too strict with restricting trans or non-binary people from their chosen sport – though there is plenty of grey area for athletes and teams to navigate.
A star player on Canada’s Women’s World Cup 2023 team was a non-binary athlete.
Footballer Quinn has also made history as the first out trans, non-binary athlete to win an Olympic medal, after taking home the gold for Canada at the Tokyo Games.
Meanwhile, in the US, 23 states have passed laws that restrict transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming athletes’ participation in organised sports – particularly school sports – in the past three years alone.
This can have serious repercussions on gender non-conforming youth, who are excluded – voluntarily or not – from team sports that help to build, not just a players’ athletic abilities, but their social skills, team-building abilities, and leadership and problem-solving skills.
Alongside their findings, TransConnect and Simon Fraser University researchers offer a number of possible solutions to these concerns that would encourage non-binary athletes to participate in sports again.
Those solutions include: allowing non-binary participants to choose the gendered team they’d like to play on, offering co-ed team options or dividing teams by competitiveness, creating gender-neutral changing areas with single stalls, and offering better education on diverse genders and sexualities.
“Participation in physical activities, particularly activities with the sociality of team sports, is a key part of preventative health measures,” said Simon Fraser University’s health sciences assistant professor Travis Salway.
“Non-binary youth deserve the same opportunity to participate in team sports as everyone else.”
In a recently released Data for Progress poll, most respondents admitted that they didn’t know how to feel about him because they still had no idea who he was.
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But when pollsters asked about his specific positions, the change was dramatic. A substantial majority of voters, including independents, oppose many of Speaker Johnson’s past actions and policy stances, particularly those related to abortion, LGBTQ+ rights, and defending former President Trump.
Seventy-eight percent oppose his position that states should be allowed to imprison people for having gay sex. Sixty-one percent oppose his attempts to force Amazon to sell anti-LGBTQ+ books, and the same amount are against his attempts to allow states to ban same-sex marriage.
The poll also found that a majority of voters oppose cutting funding for Social Security and Medicare, banning abortion in all 50 states, and voting to overturn the 2020 presidential election — all of which are policy stances and actions that Johnson has taken in the past.
From October 27 to 30, 2023, Data for Progress surveyed 1,283 likely voters nationally using web panel respondents. The sample was weighted to represent likely voters by age, gender, education, race, geography, and voting history. The survey was conducted in English. The margin of error is ±3 percentage points.