The mass shooting in Colorado Springs last November that killed five people inside an LGBTQ nightclub served as a tragic reminder that the hate directed at our community can have deadly consequences.
In the wake of the killings, anti-LGBTQ right-wing figures celebrated on social media and advocated for copycat attacks, prompting bar owners around the country to step up security.
Instead of inspiring lawmakers to pass pro-LGBTQ measures, the shooting turned out to be a precursor to an unprecedented slew of legislative attacks, with more than 450 bills introduced targeting trans healthcare, drag shows, and affirming library books in state houses around the country.
This legislative assault on our equality has consequences beyond restricting the rights of queer people in those states. I recently heard from a mother in progressive, blue Maryland who said her trans daughter wants to sleep with a gun under her pillow because she fears a physical attack despite living in a supportive home.