Protesting Students Stage LGBTQ+ Play Outside Louisiana’s Capitol

Protesting Students Stage LGBTQ+ Play Outside Louisiana’s Capitol

In response to anti-LGBTQ+ bills proposed in Louisiana, queer high school students hoped to inspire change by performing a play about their own experiences and struggles. 

When legislation was introduced to regulate students’ pronouns, bathroom use, and discussions of gender and sexuality in the classroom, it was met with protests from students. At Benjamin Franklin high school in New Orleans, students have held walkouts, and this year students are trying a different approach. 

After writing a play based on their own experiences, the students performed it on the steps of the state Capitol, hoping to spark more empathy, according to AP News. The students took their play, entitled “The Capitol Project,” to the capitol in Baton Rouge, just days before Transgender Day of Visibility. During the performance, students shared their experiences of joy and heartbreak.

“It’s the deepest expression of who they are. And that part of it, knowing that you can create something beautiful, that can make change,” Ariella Assouline, a program manager at the It Gets Better Project, told AP News. 

Many LGBTQ+ students around the country were moved to take action against LGBTQ+ hate after the death of Nex Benedict, a transgender teen who died after an altercation with school bullies. 

Limiting LGBTQ+ and transgender rights has been one of conservative America’s primary goals in drafting and passing legislation over the past few years, and despite calls for this hateful legislation to stop from both American citizens and President Joe Biden’s administration, Republicans persist.

In Louisiana, anti-trans bills had been curtailed by a Democratic governor in previous years, but now they have a greater chance of passing as the new Republican governor, Jeff Landry takes the helm.

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