Making discrimination visible: Making the immigration and LGBT connections

As anti-gay and anti-transgender bills are being considered and passed in North Carolina and now Mississippi, gay and transgender immigrants are noticing a trend. Dani Marrero with United We Dream, a national social justice organizations advocating for immigrants, writes in their blog that many of these states have also passed, or considered anti-immigrant legislation in recent years. What this means for people who share multiple identities, is that they face cities and states that are trying to find a way to legally deny them access to housing, jobs and other aspects of public life based on more than one part of their identity. For immigrants whether undocumented or those that hold some form of temporary authorization, these laws allow others in society to discriminate against them despite all the contributions they make to local civic life and economies.

In the blog post Marrero discusses HB 318 in particular, passed in North Carolina last year. That law like of much of the recent anti-gay and anti-transgender legislation makes a special attempt at the state level to limit the more progressive actions cities, counties and law enforcement might take to treat undocumented immigrants more humanely. You can take a look at Marrero's article here.

The article also reveals the findings of a recent survey of LGBT immigrants that exposed the high rates of discrimination experienced by those who live at the intersect of immigrant and LGBT realities.

Marrero was one of the organizers behind the first annual Aquí Estamos conference, a historic effort to bring visibility to Latinx LGBTQ people in the Rio Grande Valley. The conference brought together Latinx from throughout Texas together to discuss the particular realities of being out and LGBT near the border.