A friend of mine one day decided to post a link to my Facebook page. I always complain about Texas not having enough rights for the LGBTQ communities and say that I want to move to a different state once I'm done with college. So she ended up posting a link from CNN called the LGBT rights calculator so I could figure out which states in America support the different rights I'm in favor of. There are 10 different rights listed on this calculator with 1 being not important and 5 being very important. So naturally, being me, every right listed was very important to me. I listed 5 onto everything. My results showed that I would best be suited to move to either Washington D.C. or Washington state. The current state I live in, being Texas, was listed down at the bottom. The states that are even worse off than Texas according to CNN are: Utah, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.
I find this site both interesting and alarming at the same time. First, let me focus on the elements of why I find it interesting. I like the fact that using this site, I can know what states have the rights that I want. If I were to click on D.C. or Washington state or Texas, there's a side bar that appears, listing off the information of what that state offers and doesn't offer for LGBTQ citizens residing in that state. Also, if I happen to attend a different school that's out of state for my grad program, I can know what rights I do and don't have since I'll have no choice of where I will be residing. So it's a useful tool to keep in mind if someone decides to move to a different area in the country.
Now, let me focus on the elements of why I find this link alarming. The big main issue is just the fact of how many states lack the rights that I want to see be accessible for all members of the LGBTQ communities. And then I'm also not surprised to find a lot of the southern states are in the bottom of the list. Then in relation to what I want to do later on down in my career path, I want to work within the southern areas of America and help either 1) advocate and fight for these rights or 2) help support LGBTQ individuals in a state where they suffer from these lack of rights. Another thing that I find alarming is that someone who is very homophobic and wants to live in a state were there's not many LGBTQ rights can use this site to their advantage and find a state that caters more to their views on LGBTQ issues.
Overall I'm glad that my friend provided me with this source. It's an interesting little tool for me to use later on down the road. I don't plan on sticking around here in the state of Texas, been here all my life. Plus, Texas has the following things against LGBTQ citizens: there's a ban on same sex marriage, LGBTQ members can legally be fired due to their sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, doesn't protect LGBTQ individuals from being evident, LGBTQ individuals can only sometimes adopt a partner's child, doesn't protect LGBTQ kids from being bullied, restricts what teachers can say about LGBTQ related issues, doesn't protect same sex couples the right to visit their partners in the hospital, unconstitutional sodomy laws remain in books, and only one city/county offers additional protections for LGBTQ individuals. No wonder I want to move from here, there's so few rights. The only thing that Texas has in favor of is that it protects "gay people" from hate crimes, which needs to be expanded to the other LGBTQ communities that don't fit into that mold.
So then, are you curious about the rights that LGBTQ individuals have in your state? Are you wondering what states have more or less rights if you're thinking about moving? Or are you just naturally curious to see what all kinds of work needs to be done across the country? Below is a link provided to the CNN's LGBT rights calculator to answer all these questions and more.