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LGBTQ advocates call for Connecticut to do more to help children

Ace Ricker, New Haven Pride Center Community Impact Manager
Office of Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin
Ace Ricker, New Haven Pride Center Community Impact Manager

LGBTQ advocates were joined by U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin Monday in condemning efforts across the country to restrict what teachers can say about gay and transgender issues and limit transgender students' participation in sports.

New Haven Pride Center Community Impact Manager Ace Ricker said as a transgender man of color, he experiences fear.

"People decide to target me because of the unknown. They don't have a face, they have these misunderstandings of what someone who is trans is like." Ricker said.

Connecticut has made advances recently in supporting young people, said Mel Cordner, the executive director of Q-Plus — a community organization to uplift youth voices and create spaces for queer youth to be themselves. "Connecticut is, more or less, a leader when it comes to supporting queer youth in schools. But every time I tell the kids in my support group that, they all go 'Oh wow, that's sad.'"

Connecticut lawmakers need to do more, Cordner said.

"We don't pass laws refusing to let teachers say the word gay, but we also don't prevent administrators from bullying those same teachers into silence." Cordner said. Connecticut needs to make it easier for trans children to access healthcare, Cordner said.

Murphy called on the Education and Justice departments to do more to protect the rights of LGBTQ students. “These kids have done absolutely nothing to deserve this targeted bullying from adults with power. These kids don’t threaten anybody."

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