Stephanie Beatriz slams the current wave of anti-LGBTQ+ bills: “How can I not speak up?”

Apr 11, 22
Stephanie Beatriz slams the current wave of anti-LGBTQ+ bills: “How can I not speak up?”

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Encanto star Stephanie Beatriz has slammed the various anti-LGBTQ+ bills plaguing the US.

Over the last few months, various states across America have either implemented or introduced hateful bills targeting the LGBTQ+ community.

From Kentucky and Iowa to Texas and Utah, conservative lawmakers have made it their mission to spew hate towards queer and trans individuals. 

In a recent interview with Variety at the 2022 Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC Film Gala, Beatriz revealed that the various anti-LGBTQ+ legislation “keeps her up at night”.

The In The Heights star, who is openly bisexual, attended the event to accept the Fusion Award – which honoured her contributions to LGBTQ+ representation in media.

Beatriz also discussed the importance of helping queer people who have been heavily impacted by the archaic bills.

“How can we turn our backs on people in our community that have less resources than we do to discuss this stuff openly?” she explained. 

“The fact that people are so terrified of each other, so xenophobic and so full of internalised hatred, that they then create legislation to keep other people from fulfilling their destinies on this planet is wild. How can I not speak up?” 

Alongside her support for the LGBTQ+ community, the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star expressed her gratitude for her film Encanto and its positive representation during the current social climate.  

“I understand that many people have issues with Disney, as well they should,” she prefaced.

“But one of the things that I’m really proud of is that Walt Disney Animation set this film in Colombia, with a family that was all Colombians and Latinos, and all different races, because it’s really big to show children all over the world that Latinos don’t only look one way, they look all sorts of ways.”

Beatriz’s comments come a couple of days after Alabama became the first state to implement felony penalties regarding gender-affirming care for trans youth. 

On 8 April, Governor Kay Ivey gave her stamp of approval by signing Senate Bill 184 (SB 184) and House Bill 322 (HB 322) into law.

Under SB 184, also known as The Vulnerable Child Protection Act, medical professionals will face felony charges for offering gender-affirming care to trans youth under the age of 18.

Regarding HB 322, which has also been dubbed the ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bill, K-12 trans youth will be banned from using the bathroom or locker room that aligns with their gender identity.

The bill will also implement LGBTQ+ censorship within the state’s school curriculums. 

Fortunately, organisations like The Southern Poverty Law Center and Human Rights Campaign have announced plans to challenge the horrendous bills with an array of lawsuits.

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