Angelica Ross slams Biden for ‘doing bare minimum’ on LGBT+ rights: ‘Talk is cheap’

Angelica Ross, a Black trans actor and activist, wears a blue dress

Angelica Ross has accused the Biden administration of doing the “bare minimum” to protect trans youth in the US, saying “talk is cheap”.

The Pose actor and trans activist reflected on the issues that have affected the queer community over the past year and looked at what lawmakers can do in the year ahead in her LGBTQ State of the Union Address for Logo.

While Joe Biden geared up to make his first State of the Union address, Angelica Ross called on LGBT+ Americans to band together to hold “our communities, our local representatives and our nation’s lawmakers” accountable during “this very critical inflexion point” in US history.

“We are all living through a moment of unprecedented loss, financial hardship and sociopolitical discord,” she said.

“We know these issues disproportionately impact the most marginalised among us, so we need our leaders to be doing more to protect our LGBTQ+ community — but most particularly our Black trans sisters and siblings.”

Ross said it was time for people to have an “honest and intersectional conversation” centring on the “most vulnerable among us”. She added that she was open to talking about such issues with anyone from the Biden-Harris administration should they be interested.

“Drop me a line, honey, you have my number,” Ross quipped.

Ross said that the previous presidential administration had not acknowledged issues facing the LGBT+ community and the “epidemic of transphobic violence” sweeping the US. She said there was a “tonal shift” when Biden took office and mentioned statements from both Biden and Harris marking Trans Day of Remembrance last year.

But she said she wouldn’t “lavish the current administration with praise for doing the bare minimum”. She called on Biden to back up his pledges to help LGBT+ Americans with concrete actions that will protect trans youth across the nation.

“You say trans youth are brave and claimed to have their backs, and your administration has not done enough to sufficiently protect them,” Ross said. “Talk is cheap. We need you to act.”

She said it was “unacceptable” that the Equality Act, which would bring sweeping protections for LGBT+ Americans, has yet to be signed into law. The author and activist urged Congress to move the “groundbreaking bill forward” and urged the Biden administration to “continue putting pressure” on lawmakers to do so.

“You can skip the reactionary Twitter threads, honey,” Ross said. “Our community needs proactive protections.”

Angelica Ross wears a peach, gold coloured dress

Angelica Ross attends the 2021 Creative Arts Emmys at Microsoft Theater on 11 September 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty/Kevin Winter)

Angelica Ross also spoke out against the waves of anti-trans legislation making their waves through state legislatures. She said this “tide of discriminatory legislation” is being pushed by “Republican lawmakers in states like Texas, Alabama and Florida” – just to name a few.

“Adult lawmakers are leveraging the power bestowed on them by American votes to target children. Children, let that sink in,” Ross said. “Young people who will be impacted by these bills aren’t even old enough to vote, yet.”

Near the end of her address, she spoke directly to trans and non-binary young people across the US. Ross assured young people watching that they are “remarkable” and “powerful” despite the “hateful rhetoric” from top lawmakers across the country.

“I understand the very unique pain of watching your basic freedoms become pawns in our nation’s fractured political system,” Ross said. “If it all feels overwhelming at times, you’re right; it is.”

She continued: “But listen up, my dears, because this is important.

“You are remarkable. You are powerful. You are unstoppable.

“No amount of hateful rhetoric will ever change that.”