Five US LGBTQ+ news stories you may have missed last week

Although it’s still only January, plenty has already happened in 2024 LGBTQ+ folks and allies should be aware of.

Here are five LGBTQ+ news stories from the US that you might have missed last week.

Despite only being halfway through the first month of 2024, more than 250 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have already been introduced across the US, many of them specifically targeting the trans community.

After a year in which over 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were introduced across 49 states – a massive increase since 2022 – the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has reported that it is now tracking 285 horrific bills that target the queer community, with this year on track to break records for the sheer amount of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation introduced.

Justin Humphrey, a Republican lawmaker from Oklahoma, has pre-filed a bill that could ban student furries from school grounds, even stating that they could be removed by animal control.

House Bill 3084 cracks down on furries – those who dress as or identify with anthropomorphic animal characters or ‘fursonas’ – at school, mandating that they be removed from campus and school activities. 

While not all furries are LGBTQ+, political attacks on furries have often gone hand-in-hand with transphobia

In better news, a medical article written by doctors at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital has likened bans on gender-affirming care for minors to abuse and neglect.

Published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the article outlines how withholding gender-affirming care for transgender and gender-diverse minors “amounts to state-sanctioned medical neglect and emotional abuse”.

Florida lawmakers have moved forward with a bill that could ban Pride flags and symbols associated with the Black Lives Matter movement in schools and state buildings.

On 17 January, Republicans in the state advanced the bill, which would prohibit government employees and teachers from displaying these flags at public schools, colleges and universities, as well as government buildings.

The bill also prevents the use of other flags from the LGBTQ+ community, including the trans, intersex, and nonbinary flags. 

Devoted fans of the Max show Our Flag Means Death have bought a huge billboard in Times Square to demand the queer pirate comedy is renewed for a third season.

In response to the show’s cancellation, the fan-led campaign has launched a petition which calls the cancellation of the show as “deeply disappointing”, adding that “now, more than ever, our voices need to be heard”.