This is a world we all have a stake in, and I am committed to standing in solidarity with LGBTQIA+ people in the fight for liberation.
We are proud of the progress our society has made in recognizing the rights of our LGBTQIA+ siblings, but we know we have a long way to go. Our neighbors in this community still face enormous obstacles — disporportionate rates of homelessness and suicide, completely legal discrimination in housing and employment, and violence that is actively promoted in many parts of our society.
But this community is also fiercely energized, and LGBTQIA+ organizers work tirelessly to build queer pride, to promote inclusion, and to demand a world in which all people can live our lives free from fear.
Real and Just Healthcare for All
Justice in healthcare means we all get the care we need, a right our LGBTQIA+ siblings are too often denied.
Medicare for All will guarantee healthcare to everyone living in the US through a single program, that’s free at the point of use, with comprehensive benefits that include HIV care and prevention through PrEP, hormone therapy, and gender affirmation surgery. Medicare for All require the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate prices for prescription drugs and will cap out of pocket cost on prescriptions to $200 per year, so that no one living with chronic illness like HIV must face financial hardship to get the drugs they need to stay healthy.
By abolishing the for-profit private insurance industry and their use of “networks,” Medicare for All will allow anyone to choose their doctor or hospital where they receive care, ensuring everyone has access to a caregiver they feel comfortable with.
I support federal bans on “corrective” surgeries for intersex babies and conversion therapy which has been inflicted on LGBTQIA+ people in a baseless attempt to force them to be heterosexual, often as minors and without their freely given consent.
Right now, queer people are twice as likely to struggle with substance abuse and report considering suicide at twice the rate of heterosexual cisgender people; for transgender people, the incidence is over ten times as high — 41 percent of transgender adults say they have attempted suicide. I will fight to ensure Medicare for All fully covers comprehensive mental healthcare to guarantee everyone the care they need.
The Right to Transition
Right now, trans folks who begin a gender transition face an incredible number of obstacles—paying for hormones, harassment, and violence, possible firing from their jobs in retaliation for being who they are. In Texas, it costs around $50 to change your last name on your driver’s license but around $300 to change your first name. Gender expression is a fundamental right. I will fight for national legislation that creates parity between changing first and last names and allows for gender identifications beyond male and female on all official federal and state documentation, including birth certificates and driver’s licenses.
An End to Discrimination
I support the Equality Act: to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of the sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition of an individual, as well as because of sex-based stereotypes.”
Even after the Equality Act is passed, we know that bosses will unfortunately still attempt to find ways to discriminate against queer people for more vague reasons, like not “fitting in with the culture of the workplace.” That’s why I will go further to fight for universal “Just Cause” protections to ban all “at-will” employment and ensure no one can be fired for discriminatory reasons.
I will fight discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people by police, banks, healthcare professionals, and in housing. Our LGBTQIA+ siblings here in Texas can also be denied housing based on their identity, putting LGBTQIA+ tenants in a more vulnerable position relative to landlords. We will put an end to this discrimination with the Equality Act, fighting for “Just Cause” eviction laws, and supporting tenant organizing. I will also fight for an end to the use of the “gay/trans panic defense” which has been used in courts to excuse the murder or assault of LGBTQIA+ people by virtue of the perpetrator’s discomfort with or around people of different sexual orientations or gender identities.
Keeping Children Safe
Every year, children wait in foster care waiting to be adopted while countless LGBTQIA+ people ready to welcome children into their homes are denied the opportunity to adopt. In Congress, I will work to pass the Every Child Deserves a Family Act to prohibit adoption facilities from legally discriminating against LGBTQIA+ people. We must also ensure that children of all identities grow up in communities that support and value them by ensuring all public schools implement positive fact-based LGBTQIA+ sex education curriculum. This curriculum establishes for young people that they deserve to be recognized no matter who they are, and research shows it also results in fewer teenage pregnancies, lower rates of STD transmission, and lower rates of suicide among youth.