Qmmunity: Trump Admin Could Soon Undermine Health Care Protections for LGBTQIA

Find queer connection with virtual events


Opening reception of the AHC's 2018 Lisa Davis exhibit, now available online (Photo by Beth Sullivan)

Not even a global pandemic can halt the Tr*mp administration's war on LGBTQIA rights. On Fri., April 24, Politico reported the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to soon release (as in, this week) its yearlong rewrite of the Affordable Care Act's Section 1557, which barred health care discrimination based on gender identity. Specifically, the proposed rule would gut an Obama-era interpretation that "sex" discrimination under the ACA extended to gender identity. If passed as first proposed, the rule could allow health care providers to possibly deny care based on a patient's perceived gender identity.

I can't say I'm surprised conservatives have exploited the COVID-19 crisis to advance their draconian agendas. Attention is diverted; in-person protests are rendered unthinkable; and checks-and-balances perhaps weakened. All ideal conditions for GOP lawmakers to push long-sought priorities under the shadow of the coronavirus, as seen in Idaho's passage of two anti-trans bills last month, or Texas' homegrown attack on abortion access (see Mary Tuma's feature in News). With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to soon decide whether the Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQIA employees, this rule, if issued, could be short-lived, according to Politico. Still, all of us – LGBTQIA or otherwise – should be alarmed when our lawmakers are so determined to obtrude their discriminatory isms upon others that they'd put bigotry before protecting public health. In the middle of an unprecedented health crisis, Tr*mp & Co. have only proved their willingness to steamroll their way to Bass-ackwardlandia at whatever cost, even if that means people's lives.

2 to Do

Queer Census Action Party Join Austin's very own LGBTQ+ Census Complete Count Committee to talk census shop and learn how you can help ensure everyone gets counted. Thu., April 30, 5:30-6:30pm. Online. Free. www.queerthecensusatx.org.

"We'll Just Rock for Ourselves" Virtual Exhibit The Austin History Center's phenomenal 2018 exhibit on the late photographer Lisa Davis is now available online for your viewing pleasure. Davis' photos and videos capture the grrrls grrrls grrrls of Austin's lezzie rock scene in the Nineties. Ongoing. Online. Free. library.austintexas.gov/ahc.

Q'd Up

Out Youth Story Time LGBTQIA folks of all ages invited to join via YouTube. Daily until Out Youth resumes in-person operations. 8pm. Online. Free. www.outyouth.org/storytime.

Lizzy Caroloke Sing yer a$$ off from yer living room. Thu., April 30, 6pm; Thu., May 7, 6pm. Online. Free. www.fb.com/lizzycaroloke.

Virtual Kiki: High School Reunion! When you can't go to the dance party, the dance party comes to you! Thu., April 30, 7-9pm. Online. www.hyperurl.co/virtual-kiki.

The Highland Show Staffers' variety show showcases myriad talents. Fri., May 1, 10pm. Online. www.fb.com/highlandlounge.

Interfaces: Artists On Series Poet/organizer KB hosts virtual workshop "What Is Climate Change, and What Does It Have to Do With Race?" Sat., May 2, noon-2pm. Online. Free. www.fb.com/atxinterfaces.

Nolen at Night Livestream Julie Nolen brings live music from her living room to yours. Mondays, 7-8pm. Online. www.fb.com/julieeffinnolen.

Trans Wellness Peer Support Groups For adults (18+) who identify under the transgender and nonbinary umbrella or are questioning. Tuesdays, 5:30-6:20pm & 7-7:50pm. Online. Free. www.outyouth.org/govirtual.

Chairography Chair balances, tricks, tips, and some impressive combos you can werk, all on a chair. Wed., May 6, 7pm. Online. Sliding scale. www.fb.com/thee.gay.agenda.

Want more queer? Visit austinchronicle.com/qmmunity

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin LGBTQ, COVID-19, Donald Trump, Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama, Civil Rights Act, U.S. Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Austin LGBTQ, coronavirus

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