This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of PFLAG, the premier parent, family, and ally organization of the LGBTQ+ movement. In celebration of this historic anniversary, the iconic organization has launched a new, bold, vibrant look to reflect the courageous love that has driven PFLAG’s every action since 1973. Read more about the work that went into evolving PFLAG!

Court Matters

Colorado baker loses appeal in case over cake celebrating gender transition. Jack Philips, the baker whose refusal to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding led to a Supreme Court case, is now involved in a case over his refusal to bake a cake celebrating a gender transition. The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that the cake was not a form of speech and that Philips illegally discriminated against a customer due to their gender identity.

Federal Matters

FDA proposes new rule easing blood donation restriction for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). The current blood donation rules bar MSM from donating if they’ve had sex with another man in the last three months. The proposed rule would allow anyone who has not had more than one sexual partner in the last three months to donate blood, though those taking PrEP would still be subject to a three month deferral. 

Second Gentleman visits memorial for gay victims of the Holocaust. Doug Emhoff visited the Memorial to the Persecuted Homosexuals under National Socialism in Berlin on January 31st as part of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

State Matters

Alaska - Homer Library Board votes to keep LGBTQ+ books in child and young adult sections. Fifty-five books were requested to be moved to a different library section over their discussions or depictions of subjects related to sexual orientation and gender identity. The books will stay in the child and young adult section of the library, which the library director noted contained 12,500 titles, meaning the challenged books represent only 0.4% of the total youth collection.

Arkansas - Arkansas House approves bill barring trans students from using bathrooms matching their gender identity. HB1556 would require multiple occupancy restrooms or changing areas at public schools and open-enrollment public charter schools to be separated based on a “student’s sex as identified on his or her original birth certificate issued at or near the time of his or her birth.”

California - Orange Unified School District suspends digital library. Superintendent Edward Velasquez announced on January 29th that the digital library app, Sora, would be temporarily shut down after some parents raised concerns about the books that were available on the app. 

Santee YMCA trans-inclusive locker room policy gains right-wing attention nationwide. Rebecca Phillips, a 17-year-old Santee resident, spoke at a city council meeting on January 11th, and claimed she was “terrified” to encounter a trans woman in the YMCA locker room. Her testimony sparked a nationwide crusade against YMCAs among the far-right.

Florida - Bill introduced to ban gay and trans panic defense. SB328 would prohibit defendants from using the discovery of someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity as a defense in a criminal trial. 

Kansas - Proposed legislation would give state funding to private and homeschooling. Some Kansas legislators see funding for non-public schools as a way to allow parents to avoid any instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity for their children. 

Mississippi - State Senate advances gender-affirming care ban. HB1125, which passed the House on January 19th, now awaits consideration by the full Senate before heading to Governor Tate Reeves’s desk. He is expected to sign the legislation if it passes the Senate, which would make Mississippi the fourth state to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth. 

At least 31 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced this session in Mississippi. Lawmakers introduced 31 bills targeting LGBTQ+ Mississippians this year, including gender-affirming care bans, and anti-LGBTQ+ curriculum bills.

North Carolina - Gender-affirming care targeted in new bill. Five lawmakers filed HB43 on February 1st, which would outlaw hormone treatments and puberty blockers for anyone under 18 years old.

Tennessee - State rejects CDC HIV funds that do not run through city Health Departments. After anti-LGBTQ+ provocateurs denounced gender-affirming care, the state declined $8.3MM in funding that reached community-based organizations focused on HIV prevention. PFLAG joins TEP to urge the CDC to fund CBOs directly.

Lawmakers advance gender-affirming care bans and drag show bans. HB1 and SB1 would ban gender-affirming care for trans Tennesseans under 18 while HB9 and SB3 would classify drag shows as “adult cabaret performances” which would limit where drag could be performed. 

Utah - Governor Cox signs gender-affirming care ban into law. SB16 will ban hormone therapy and other gender-affirming care for nearly all trans Utahans under 18. Utah is currently the only state with an active gender-affirming care ban, as similar laws in Arkansas and Alabama have been enjoined. ACLU Utah and NCLR are expected to file a suit this month to block the law. 

Virginia - Anti-trans law unanimously rejected by lawmakers. The House Early Childhood/Innovation subcommittee unanimously voted down HB1434, which would have required trans students to obtain a court order to update their names on any school records and forcibly outed trans students to their parents.

Global Matters

Australia - Government considers law banning anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination in religious schools. Beginning on January 27th, the Australian Law Reform Commission is seeking public comment on proposed anti-discrimination rules that will make it illegal for religious schools to expel students or fire staff for being LGBTQ+.

Egypt - Documentary reveals how police target LGBTQ+ Egyptians via dating apps. As journalist Ahmed Shihab-Eldin reveals in Queer Egypt Under Attack, a new BBC documentary, Egyptian police initiate text conversations on dating apps like Grindr, and then charge anyone who meets with them under a “debauchery” law. 

Finland - Finland now allows people to legally change gender by simple declarationFinland’s parliament passed a law making it easier for transgender people to legally change their gender, eliminating past policies requiring trans people to undergo gender-affirming surgeries and to diagnosed with gender dysphoria before making the change.

Germany - Government commemorates LGBTQ+ victims of the Holocaust. The Speaker of the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, held a ceremony on the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp in which she placed special focus on the thousands of LGBTQ+ victims of the Holocaust. 

India - LGBTQI+ activists in India await marriage equality ruling. The Indian Supreme Court is currently considering two same-sex marriage petitions. 

New Zealand - First professional rugby player comes out as gay. Campbell Johnstone played for New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Blacks, in 2005. He publicly came out as gay on a television program on January 30th.

Media Matters


The Last of Us TV series features storyline with gay couple. The third episode of the HBO series focuses on a 20-year relationship between Bill, played by Nick Offerman, and Frank, played by Murray Bartlett. 

New York Rangers do not wear Pride gear on Pride Night. Despite promoting Pride Night jerseys and rainbow hockey stick tape during ticket sales, the Rangers team did not use either during warmups before their game on January 27th. 

Trans person flees the US in the wake of rising transphobia and anti-trans legislation. Trigger Warning: This story features potentially disturbing discussions of anti-trans violence and suicidal ideation. 

Trump pledges to act to prohibit and punish gender-affirming care for trans youth. In a video, he promised to take action and urge Congress to codify actions against trans and nonbinary youths’ parents, providers and educators if given the power to do so. 

College Board Cuts Queer, Feminist Authors from AP African American Studies Curriculum. The move, announced February 1st, follows pressure from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and others to change the curriculum for the Advanced Placement course in African American Studies.


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