An independent agency that advocates for LGBTQ youth under the age of 25 says anti-LGBTQ activity is on the rise in Massachusetts and across the country.

A 330-page report from the Massachusetts Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning Youth calls on Governor Maura Healey, the Massachusetts Legislature, and various state agencies to address issues such as child welfare, public health, education, economic opportunities and housing that impact LGBTQ youth.

The report states, "515 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced by policymakers in states across the nation; many have already passed across the South and Midwest."

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"In our free country, states are legislating discrimination, dehumanization, terrorization, and the erasure of millions of queer, transgender, and gender-expansive youth, as well as their caregivers, providers, and educators," it reads.

The commission says, "1 in 2 LGBTQ youth in Massachusetts were unable to access the mental health care they desperately wanted," despite national statistics indicating "50% of our queer and trans youth have seriously considered suicide in the past year."

"More than 70% of our LGBTQ youth experience anxiety, and 58% report depression," according to the commission's report.

Commission: "Escalating Attacks" Target Massachusetts LGBTQ Youth
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The report identifies dozens of Massachusetts communities and school systems where "challenges to LGBTQ freedoms" exist, including Bristol County, Greater Fall River, Old Rochester, Raynham, Middleboro, Edgartown and Foxboro.

The report says these challenges occur with "little explicit action from the state to support local schools, communities, families, and youth."

The commission says, "The attacks being seen on the ground by advocates and youth include book bans, LGBTQ flag removals in schools, graffiti, drag story hour protests, drag show bans, curriculum disputes, harassment at school committee meetings, doxxing against LGBTQ librarians and teachers, and much more."

The report states, "Combining these with the alarming rise in racist hate crimes being seen across the state, the Commission has serious concerns for the safety of LGBTQ youth, families, providers, librarians and educators in Massachusetts."

You can read the commission's full report for yourself.

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