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Here’s what recent anti-LGBTQ legislation means for progress

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Photo by Marcos del Mazo/Getty Images

A host of new legislative measures designed to discriminate against LGBTQ people has been introduced in states across the U.S., a dark trend that, oddly enough, still may signal hope, says K.J. Rawson, associate professor of English and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Northeastern. “As any oppressed group gains visibility and increased rights, it’s fairly predictable that that group will then become targeted,” says Rawson, who studies rhetoric of queer and transgender archival collections. “In some ways, we might see this as part of the path to more human rights, but the cost is to the more vulnerable members of the community.”

Indeed, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told state health agencies last week that medical treatments provided to transgender adolescents, widely considered to be the standard of care in medicine, should be classified as “child abuse” under existing state law. He called upon “licensed professionals” and “members of the general public” to report the parents of transgender minors to state authorities if it appears the minors are receiving gender-affirming medical care.

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