It can’t be said enough that the first recorded U.S. Pride was a riot. In 1969, trans women were criminalized, beaten, and harassed by New York City police for gathering at their local bar when Marsha P. Johnson and other organizers fought back, using physical tactics to protect their bodies, and their rights.
But the fight for trans rights goes back far beyond 1969, and today we are seeing an unprecedented number of legislative and social attacks on trans people across the nation.
Here in Colorado, we are in one of the safest and most accessible states to be LGBTQ+ in the country. We have many rights that allow LGBTQ+ people to be themselves. Unfortunately, this is not the reality in many other states and even with some of the best protections in the country, Colorado still has work to do.
Locally, school boards are fighting to take away LGBTQ+ history in K-12 and for the right for teachers to misgender trans kids – causing unimaginable embarrassment and isolation in children. In public schools, you have the right to be OUT as LGBTQ+ and the right not to be outed by your school. If you’re getting bullied because of your LGBTQ+ status, you can report it to the school, and they are required to address any abuse or harassment you are experiencing.
LGBTQ+ communities deserve to feel safe in all public spaces, you have the right to use the restroom that aligns with your gender identity, the right not to be refused services based on your gender identity or sexual orientation, and the right to have equal access to housing and employment.
It’s up to us, as one of the leading states for LGBTQ+ civil rights, to model what it looks like to have a state where all people have the right to exist safely and without fear of being their authentic selves. This includes access to the necessary care that trans people need to survive and the opportunity to thrive without any obstacles in the way.
The ACLU of Colorado will keep fighting until all people in Colorado have equal rights protected under the constitution and those rights are upheld and respected by ALL people – especially those in positions of power. In the meantime, we will continue to celebrate our LGBTQ+ staff, volunteers, supporters, and all LGBTQ+ people every day of the year.
Today, we invite you to celebrate all LGBTQ+ communities in Colorado with us and further your education on trans people and the fight to exist.
- March with us in the Denver Pride Parade
- LGBTQ+ Rights in Colorado
- Five Things to Know About Gender-Affirming Health Care
- Four Myths About Trans Athletes, Debunked
- Read Colorado’s Gender-Affirming Care Coverage Guide
If you feel that your rights have been violated as an LGBTQ+ person, reach out to us for legal help.
If you want to learn more about getting involved in our work on LGBTQ+ rights, contact [email protected].