Give OUT Day 2021: 15 years later, MAP is still going strong
A note from Ineke Mushovic, MAP Executive Director
I hope you’re staying safe and healthy during what has been a year and a half of many challenges, but also hope. Beyond the pandemic, in 2021, we’ve witnessed some of the most extreme and coordinated political attacks on LGBTQ people in recent memory. Just this year, eight states have enacted harmful policies targeting transgender youth participation in sports while states considered 40 bills to ban transgender youth from receiving best-practice medical care.
While the new Biden administration presents many opportunities for rebuilding our nation’s commitment to equality for LGBTQ people and our families, our small but passionate team knows there’s much work to be done in making sure all people can be safe in their communities and take care of the ones they love.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the founding of MAP, and I’ve been reflecting on how far we have come.
Our data, analysis, and messaging over the years have helped shape how people understand who LGBTQ people are and the challenges they face. And when you shared your stories with friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family — you’ve done the same.
I remember when MAP was founded in 2006. We were facing overwhelmingly negative stereotypes of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people — at a time when most Americans had almost no awareness of transgender people at all. States across the country were banning marriage and many felt hopeless. But then I also remember June 26, 2015, when the Supreme Court made marriage for same-sex couples legal across the country: I had tears of joy and a deep sense of gratitude, but also determination for the rest of the work that needed to be done.
And although rising visibility, unprecedented advocacy, and changing public opinion have worked to provide LGBTQ people greater legal protections than ever before, this year’s political attacks against the LGBTQ community, and particularly transgender youth, are sobering reminders of why MAP’s work is needed now more than ever before.
Today we’re participating in Give OUT Day, the only national day of giving for the LGBTQ community focused on raising vital funding for organizations like MAP.
For our 15th anniversary year, we hope you’ll consider donating $15 to MAP. Your donation will help support groundbreaking research, incisive messaging strategy, and compelling education campaigns to speed equality and opportunity for all.
Just this year alone, MAP has:
- Expanded our Equality Maps, tracking new harmful laws states have enacted that target transgender youth: bans on transgender youth participation in sports and bans on best practice medical care for transgender youth.
- Provided advocates, the media, and the public detailed analyses of the legislative efforts to ban health care for transgender youth, as well as the harmful impacts these bills could have on transgender young people.
- Brought together leading LGBTQ and allied movement organizations to articulate why the Equality Act is vital legislation not just for LGBTQ people but also for women, people of color, immigrants, and people of minority faiths.
- Provided advocates, the media, and the public with tools for understanding Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, a case the Supreme Court issued its opinion on just this month. While the Court ruled in favor of the taxpayer-funded child welfare agency that did not want to place children in foster care with same-sex parents, the important news is that the ruling applies only to this one agency and does not create a broad new license to discriminate for other agencies.
Like all of you, MAP will keep on fighting. Now more than ever, Congress has the chance to update our nation’s nondiscrimination law through the Equality Act to ensure that all Americans, including LGBTQ Americans, can provide for themselves and their families, live free from discrimination, and build a better life.
So while our work is far from done, in this year of re-openings and social re-entry into society, we celebrate our victories and recommit to the work towards equality for all of us. Thank you for being by our side and for considering a donation today of $15.
MAP Executive Director