October is LGBTQ History Month. It is meant to be a time for the nation to celebrate the accomplishments of LGBTQ heroes and honor the bravery of people who live their lives fully and openly. Nearly 30 years after the first LGBTQ History Month, many across the country are now targeting transgender and nonbinary youth, with particularly devastating consequences.

The surge of anti-trans legislation nationwide is testing the core of America. Over 500 anti-trans bills have been introduced this year, and 85 have passed. These bills threaten the safety of America, autonomy, and overall well-being. From schools to churches, doctor's offices, and even at home, people who are transgender are being denied their right to self-determination. And parents of transgender youth are being forced to deny their children the rights they deserve.

As a parent, I believe we have a responsibility to protect our children from political bullies who choose to single out and harass young people and their families in deeply vulnerable moments. And I'm encouraged that most Americans share that view. A survey out this year by Data for Progress found that the majority of Americans believe there is too much legislation aimed to limit the rights of LGBTQ people in America.

Look no further than the moms leading Red, Wine, and Blue (RWB) for guidance about combating extremism in schools and communities. They offer multiple ways in which parents can learn how to have open conversations with fellow parents about supporting kids and organizing against the culture wars happening in our backyards. Here are a few specifics highlighted in a podcast the group hosts:

  • Listen, show up, and read about LGBTQ issues—educating ourselves is a critical first step.
  • Don't repeat or ignore the disinformation. Set the record straight on bad information by using facts and stories about real people impacted.
  • Engage in conversations with people who disagree with you—find common ground and remember many of us agree on basic values, such as the importance of families having the freedom to decide what's best for them.
  • Understand where political leaders stand on protecting our children's rights, health, and education, and take action to prevent those who don't want to protect our children from getting elected.

Read the full article about supporting LGBTQ youth by Tricia Raikes at Newsweek.