NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements today to mark the beginning of Pride Month. While the recent mass shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo have renewed national outcry for action on gun safety and brought gun violence back into the national spotlight, mass shootings make up only a fraction of the gun violence that impacts the LGBTQ+ community every single day.
“Today, even as we honor Pride, the nation continues to grieve the recent tragedies in Buffalo, Uvalde, and beyond,” said Becky George, Senior Advisor for Movement Building at Everytown for Gun Safety. “We are painfully aware that this epidemic of violence has a disproportionate impact on marginalized communities, including the LGBTQ+ community. This month, we call on policymakers at every level to honor Pride with action by working at the intersection of gun safety and LGBTQ+ rights to make this country safer for all.”
“This year, like every year before, members of the LGBTQ+ community have faced continued threats on our safety, our livelihoods, and our existence,” said Peren Tiemann, a former Students Demand Action National Advisory Board member and a volunteer leader with Students Demand Action in Oregon. “Recent tragedies have put a national spotlight on the epidemic of violence that impacts our community every single day. While many of these shootings don’t make the news, each one leaves deep scars on families, survivors, and communities. This month, we remain more committed than ever to fighting for change.”
This year, some states advanced anti-LGBTQ+ legislation while simultaneously dismantling their gun safety laws, even as transgender and gender nonconforming people were already facing record levels of violence, a trend that disproportionately affects Black trans women. Anti-trans legislation and weak gun laws not only enable hate-fueled violence, they can also create mental health crises that put LGBTQ+ people at increased risk of suicide. According to a survey by The Trevor Project, 45% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year.
This month, Everytown for Gun Safety will host a panel discussion on the simultaneous rise of anti-trans legislation and the loosening of gun laws that transpired in state houses across the nation this session. The conversation will build on a joint op-ed by Jade O’Connor, a member of the Students Demand Action LGBTQ+ Affinity Group, and Viviann Topping, Director of Advocacy and Civic Engagement at Equality Federation.
This June, Everytown honors LGBTQ+ gun violence survivors and recognizes the importance of queer leadership, advocacy, and resilience in the gun violence prevention movement. As communities across the country continue to be scarred by senseless acts of violence, we renew our calls for lawmakers at every level to put an end to our gun violence crisis.