The Canadian government has sent a fair warning to gender, sexual and romantic minorities (GSRM) about traveling to the United States in response to many anti-gay and anti-trans laws being passed.

With the Keene Pride Fest coming up on Sep. 17, I feel it is crucial to take an honest look at how the GSRM community is treated in the United States, not just now, but always.

According to The New York Times (NYT) author Ian Austen, the foreign affairs department, Global Affairs Canada, added a short notice on Aug. 29, to a long list of warnings involving the United States. Among gun violence and terrorism, warnings to the GSRM community were added.

Austen wrote, “Jérémie Bérubé, a spokesman for the department, said in a statement that the change was made because ‘certain states in the U.S. have passed laws banning drag shows and restricting the transgender community from access to gender-affirming care and from participation in sporting events’ since the beginning of this year.”

The Human Rights Campaign found over 520 bills targeting the GSRM community, with over 220 specifically targeting trangender people. Seventy of these bills have already been enacted.

Austen wrote, “Moves by state lawmakers, particularly in Florida, to curtail L.G.B.T.Q. rights have received prominent attention in the Canadian news media, as has a rise in hate crimes directed towards that community.”

Bérubé is absolutely right to warn the GSRM citizens of Canada about these abysmal laws. They are the state government sending a message that not only is it fine to hate the GSRM community, but is the moral and right thing to do as well. 

In an interview with CNN, Michael Luongo, the author of “Gay Travels in the Muslim World” said, “… The United States is not the Middle East or Russia or other countries that’s as dangerous, but I think that what we are seeing is in the same way that in parts of the world religious extremism is driving this homophobia and making homophobia part of politics we’re seeing that in the United States with Christian extremism.”

I have to say that Luongo is certainly right. The United States is not the worst place in the world for homophobia, but they are certainly trying to compete with them. There is no real reason to hate the GSRM community despite what has been going on in religious and cultural movements born out of religion. It is a shame to see obsolete thinking hinder real progress in the world. 

Homophobes certainly need to update their 3,500 year old morality or be left behind, despised by civilized people who don’t use ancient scrolls to oppress people. The only way homophobes and transphobes gain supporters is through lying, either by telling people it somehow goes against the divine or to just call innocent people “groomers” when it is themselves that are doing the grooming.

Homophobes are the ones indoctrinating children into their primitive and savage world view, the GSRM community just wants to stop being kicked while already down.


Nico Brazill can be contacted at

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