The LGBTQ Community
Love is Love
As a straight, cis-gender woman from the South, I want to make sure I make at least one thing clear; I stand wholeheartedly with the LGBTQ Community.
Georgia is a state that has virtually no LGBTQ protections, and still allows conversion therapy to be used on adults and children. Even though we have a very long road of change ahead of us, this is my largest concern. It seems like the best place to start would be with something we should ALL agree in criminal, and in need of repeal.
Research has long shown that conversion therapy has a disastrous impact on all LGBTQ+ young people. In a 2019 study, The Trevor Project found that 45% of queer and trans youth who had survived attempts to alter their LGBTQ+ identity had considered taking their own lives within the 12 months prior. A non-exhaustive list of such practices includes pseudo-scientific counseling sessions, being induced to ingest “purifying” substances, threatening a person with homelessness, rape, pedophilia and exorcisms.
It goes without saying that these practices are abusive and inhumane, yet we continue to allow it to happen every day in Georgia. No person should advocate for this practice. As a holder of a Psychology degree, I refuse to sit still and do nothing about it. The American Psychological Association (APA) has opposed the use, practice, and validity of conversion therapy since 1998. Today, therapists can lose their practicing licenses for participating in these activities, further supporting the need for criminalization.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to LGBTQ legislation we need to pass at the state level, but if elected, I can promise to introduce legislation in my first session to end and criminalize conversion therapy in Georgia. I never support politicians making promises they can't keep, but this isn't a promise; its a guarantee.
Reproductive Healthcare, In All Forms
Reproductive Healthcare for the LGBTQ Community is an extremely important topic we often leave out of conversation. Above all, we need to do a better job of including the LGBTQ community in discussions about access to abortions, expanding healthcare, and understanding physical and mental healthcare for their community.
Sexual and reproductive health care services are crucial components of healthcare for LGBTQ people. In particular, all people who are capable of becoming pregnant—which may include queer women, transgender men and nonbinary people—may have a need for full-spectrum pregnancy, family planning and abortion care.
A Guttmacher study estimated that several hundred transgender and nonbinary individuals received abortions nationally in 2017, primarily at facilities that did not provide transgender-specific health care. LGBTQ people may also need care related to infertility and assisted reproductive technologies, and transgender women and men may have a need for fertility preservation services. In addition to abortion services, reproductive healthcare for LGBTQ people includes STI and HIV testing and treatment; mammograms, Pap smears and other services related to reproductive cancers; screening and support for intimate partner and sexual violence; and gender-affirming services.
In 2022, Brian Kemp cut $4 Million in funding for HIV treatment under medicaid. We need to elect legislators this year that want to expand medicaid, and push for a healthier, happier Georgia.
To Learn more about reproductive healthcare for cis women, Click here.