DES MOINES, Iowa — This month local LGBTQ organizations believe there’s a lot to celebrate because bills that were considered anti-LGBTQ did not pass Iowa’s 2021 legislative session.
President of Capital City Pride, Jennifer Carruthers, said celebrating the LGBTQ community is a year-round mission and it wants people to know how hard at work local organizations have been at providing more inclusive environments in Iowa.
“Pride fest, really should be the culmination of the celebration of our community throughout the whole year. And so I think that’s one thing that’s important was kind of changing that narrative that we’re doing more than just throwing a festival,” Carruthers said.
While Capital City Pride organizes a majority of the Pride month events in central Iowa, Iowa Safe Schools and One Iowa focus on the needs of the queer community on a legislative level.
Bills introduced in this year’s session that were considered anti-LGBTQ that did not pass include: banning transgender girls from participating in girls sports, requiring people to use the bathroom of their assigned gender at birth, requiring parents to be notified if students chose alternative pronouns in school, and removing gender identity as a protected class in the Iowa Civil Rights Act.
The majority of these bills directly impacted transgender Iowans.
“There still is a lot of educating to do on the difference between gender and biological sex and what gender identity looks like, which is something that we do at Iowa Safe Schools. We talk about those things with important members of the community,” Interim Executive Director Becky Ritland said. “Just making sure that people know that the trans community is just as important as the LGB community.”
Iowa Safe Schools said it does expect the bill banning transgender girls from competing in girl sports will resurface for the special legislation in August.
For a full list of Pride events this month, click here.