South Carolinians:

Court Matters

Supreme Court leaves in place lower court ruling against Indiana bathroom ban. In 2023, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Metropolitan School District of Martinsville, Indiana, holding that transgender students must be allowed to use the restroom that matches their gender identity. On January 16th, the Supreme Court rejected the School District’s appeal, leaving the Circuit Court ruling in place. 

Family of trans volleyball player joins federal lawsuit challenging Florida’s anti-trans athlete ban. The Broward County School District in South Florida removed a 10th-grader from Monarch High School’s girls’ volleyball team in November of 2023 based on an anonymous tip that the player was trans. The family of the volleyball player in question filed an amended complaint to a federal district judge on January 11th adding the Broward School Board, the school district’s superintendent, and the Florida High School Athletic Association to an existing lawsuit challenging Florida’s anti-trans athlete ban, which became law in 2021.

Federal appeals court rules Alabama may enforce its healthcare ban for trans youth. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted an injunction on January 11th, allowing the 2022 law to go into effect. The law makes it a felony for physicians to prescribe puberty blockers or hormone therapy to transgender youths under 19.

Federal Matters

Congress passes stopgap measure to keep the government funded. The Senate voted 77-18 on January 18th to fund the government through March 1st and March 8th, depending on the federal department in question. The House followed suit on the same day, passing the funding bill by a vote of 314-108. President Biden s expected to sign the bill. 

Federal hate crimes prevention law violation charged against ClubQ shooter. Anderson Lee Aldrich has already pleaded guilty in state court to five counts of murder and 46 counts of attempted murder, as well as pleading no contest to two counts of bias-motivated crimes. Aldrich has now been charged with five federal hate crime enhancements including five counts of murder and 69 cases of attempted murder. 

DOJ releases report on Uvalde school shooting. The 575-page report was highly critical of the law enforcement response to the shooter at Robb Elementary School in June of 2022, who killed 19 children and two teachers.

State Matters

Self-care note: While some of the following stories celebrate and affirm LGBTQ+ people, many cover legislation targeting the LGBTQ+ community, particularly trans and nonbinary youth. Please be kind to yourself and use your discretion while reading this section. 

Advisory: State news is representative but not exhaustive due to space constraints; feel free to forward news about your state to to consider for inclusion.

Connecticut - Enfield passes flag ban policy. The Town Council voted to ban all flags except the U.S., Connecticut, armed services, and POW/MIA flags from town owned flagpoles and buildings on January 8th. PFLAG Enfield argued against the new policy, and plans to hold a rally during the next Town Council meeting on January 22nd.. 

Florida - LGBTQ+ rights advocates gather in Tallahassee. Several hundred advocates, including PFLAG members, came to the State Capitol on January 16th to denounce anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and advance pro-equality bills. 

Missouri - Multiple bills introduced attacking LGBTQ+ community. Seven anti-LGBTQ+ bills were slated for discussion by the House Emerging Issues Committee on January 17th. One of these bills, HB2309, would make any reference to “gender” in state law synonymous with a narrow and binary definition of biological sex, effectively erasing transgender, non-binary, and intersex Missourians from state law. 

New Hampshire - Littleton town manager resigns after receiving hateful messages about his late, gay son. Prior to his resignation, announced on January 8th, a Littleton town board member called a painting commissioned by a local LGBTQ+ group “demonic” and said homosexuality was an abomination. A local woman also came to Mr. Gleason’s office upset about a production of “La Cage aux Folles” at a local theater. When Mr. Gleason refused to close the production, the woman asked Gleason if he was pleased that his son, Patrick, a gay man who died of cancer in 2016, was “in hell with the devil where he belonged.”

Ohio - Trans candidates cleared to run for office despite challenges. A little-used state election law required the trans candidates to include their deadnames in their candidacy papers. One candidate, Vanessa Joy of Stark County, was disqualified from running for State House due to the law. However, three other trans candidates across the state were confirmed as candidates in spite of the law. PFLAG National intervened to elevate and resolve this.

Texas - Sherman High School production of “Oklahoma” debuts after trans member of the cast reinstated. Max Hightower, who is trans, was cast in a male role, but was removed from the production on November 3rd after the school adopted a policy which only allowed students to play roles which match  their biological sex. The decision was heavily criticized and, eventually, Max was reinstated in his original role in the show. While the production was delayed as a result of the school’s policy decision, the show opens January 19th. 

Virginia - Shenandoah County School Board considers anti-trans policy. On January 11th, the school board debated a policy which would ban trans athletes from competing on sports teams that align with their gender identity, would bar any punishments for students, staff, or teachers who intentionally misgender trans students, and would bar students from being referred to by names or pronouns not listed in their official record. PFLAG Woodstock is among the groups opposing the proposed policy.

Global Matters

Ireland - Cabinet Minister comes out as gay. Minister for Roads Jack Chambers came out publicly on Instagram on January 14th. 

Mexico - At least three trans people murdered in the first two weeks of 2024. The murders sparked protests by members of the LGBTQ+ community who marched in Mexico City’s main throughway on January 15th.


The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) to merge this summer. The two trans rights groups will merge to become Advocates for Trans Equality, or A4TE Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, executive director of NCTE said “We’ll be able to operate with double the influence, double the power,” due to the merger.

Media Matters


GLAAD Media Award nomination for trans-centered episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show featuring PFLAG family. PFLAG’s own Jeff and Harleigh Walker appeared on this episode, which aired in November during Trans Awareness Week, to share their personal story. The episode, developed with strong support from the PFLAG National Communications team, also featured actresses Trace Lysette, and Patricia Clarkson from the acclaimed film Monica, and Laverne Cox.  

Sir Elton John wins Emmy Award, becoming 19th EGOT winner. Sir Elton won an Emmy Award for his Farewell from Dodger Stadium special on January 15th, a night filled with wins for other queer artists. The music artist had previously won Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards, meaning he now belongs to a small, elite group who have won all four major American entertainment awards (called “EGOTing”). 

Study shows aunts play crucial role in supporting their young LGBTQ+ relatives. The longitudinal study of 83 LGBTQ+ people in South Texas and the Inland Empire of California, published on December 22nd in Socius, found that aunts often provided support, safety, and housing for their LGBTQ+ relatives.

Trans composer debuts queer opera at the Kennedy Center. Joy Redmond composed a one-act opera, called “Hairpiece” with librettist Sam Norman. The opera was created as part of the Kennedy Center’s “American Opera Initiative,” which commissions original one-act operas. “Hairpiece” will debut on January 19th.


PFLAG National
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