Over the weekend, a speaker at CPAC asserted that “transgenderism [sic] must be eradicated from public life entirely.”

We condemn this alarming and harmful rhetoric. Words have power. And, when statements like these are allowed to stand unchecked, they set the stage for violence. We must all call out bigotry wherever and whenever we see it.

Arriving in the wake of a week in which a trans woman was violently attacked in Minneapolis, another Black trans woman was killed in Milwaukee, where both Mississippi and Tennessee signed gender affirming care bans into law and where the latter signed a law restricting public drag performance; we see this rhetoric as a clear part of an increasingly hostile climate for LGBTQ+ Americans.

As our friends at the Movement Advancement Project detailed in their February report on the policy landscape: “LGBTQ people are under siege from a targeted and coordinated campaign to undermine equality and ultimately erase them from public life."

This landscape is directly impacting the mental health of our LGBTQ+ youth, it is impereling the livelihoods of everyone — from drag performers to teachers to health care providers, and it is leading families to literally seek refuge as they flee from hostile legislation in their home states.

We all have an obligation to speak up to condemn this rhetoric, to stand against the unprecedented wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation being advanced today, and to take action to protect and support our community. Now is not the time for quiet allies.

The LGBTQ+ community is not helpless in the face of hatred, and we should not allow our narrative to be reduced to victimization. Ours is a story of strength, beauty, and deep care for community. We draw upon that rich history as we continue our work today. We are not backing down from this moment.

OutFront Minnesota will continue to speak up and condemn acts of violence and discrimination. We will continue to advocate and advance necessary legislation for our community here in this state. We will take action to lift up and support our community across the country.

In the coming weeks we are organizing and joining gatherings in community and at the State Capitol. We are standing side-by-side with organizations, business leaders, and advocates throughout the state to offer support and celebrate our state’s LGBTQ+ community. We hope you will join us.

Stay strong and stay fabulous, Minnesota.