The LGBTQIA+ community is affected most seriously by homelessness, workplace discrimination, healthcare (or lack thereof) and police violence. This is particularly true for trans women and specifically for trans women of color. Brandon is committed to the continued fight for liberation of all LGBTQIA+ New Yorkers.
All issues are LGBTQIA+ issues to some degree, but this community is affected most seriously by homelessness, workplace discrimination, healthcare (or lack thereof) and police violence. This is particularly true for trans women and specifically for trans women of color.
The LGBTQIA+ community has a proud tradition of bold resistance and joyful defiance in the face of hatred, discrimination, violence, neglect, and oppression. Brandon takes inspiration from the LGBTQIA+ patrons at Stonewall who took a stand against the cops that had so long preyed on them, and the heroes of ACT-UP who demanded life when their country’s leaders wished they would die quietly.
Despite the victories won in recent struggles, the LGBTQIA+ community continues to face challenges: the seemingly endless murders of transgender people – particularly Black trans women, the persistence of the HIV epidemic, longstanding discriminatory laws and fresh legislative attacks, the list goes on and on. We need to secure housing, healthcare, and safety from violence for LGBTQIA+ New Yorkers.
Invest in and support homeless and runaway youth: Approximately 40% of runaway and homeless youth are part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and they are often overlooked in housing conversations. We need to invest in expanding decommodified housing so that LGBTQIA+ youth can thrive in this city with autonomy from unsupportive parents or the foster care system. For too many queer youth in this city, the only way to be eligible for subsidized housing is if they test HIV-positive and access these services through the HIV/AIDS Services Administration.
Support the Gender Recognition Act: State law requires multiple unnecessary barriers and expenses that prevent people from updating New York State-issued birth certificates and drivers’ licenses, and making legal name changes that further affirm their identities and keep them safe. As a city council member Brandon will use his position to lobby Albany policymakers to streamline and destigmatize this process.
Decriminalize sex work: Laws that criminalize sex work push the industry underground, making it more dangerous. Being a sex worker is dangerous especially so if you are a trans woman of color. Nine out of 10 trans sex workers or those suspected of being a sex worker reported being harassed, attacked, or assaulted by the police, and many are forced into silence because of anti-sex work laws.
Prioritize LGBTQIA+ Health: Brandon will expand health resources for LGBTQIA+ New Yorkers by increasing funding of trusted healthcare providers within the community, in addition to expanding HIV testing and access to Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), gender affirming care, and sexual healthcare screenings.
Provide more school resources: In addition to his Education Justice for All plan, Brandon supports expanding resources for LGBTQIA+ youth in our city’s schools, including more trained counselors who can address the issues specific to these students, as well as making sure that teachers are trained to be gender affirming to students. Brandon also supports school programs for LGBTQIA+ students and an intersectional curriculum that acknowledges the contributions of queer Americans and New Yorkers to history and culture.
Combat discrimination: Brandon will support and work with New York’s Human Rights Commission to ensure the enforcement of workplace and housing discrimination laws.
Support senior housing: LGBTQIA+ elders are statistically more likely to face housing discrimination and harassment from property managers, staff, other residents at senior housing facilities. In 2019 New York built its first LGBT-friendly senior Housing Development, Stonewall House, to great success, and Brandon supports more senior housing projects like it. Brandon will also support allies in Albany to pass the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender long-term care facility resident’s bill of rights.
Support for LGBTQIA+ spaces: Park Slope has a rich queer history, and has traditionally been a center for New York’s lesbian community. But rising rents and the pandemic have dealt a blow to LGBTQIA+ spaces – such as bookstores and bars – in the neighborhood and city overall. Brandon supports COVID relief for small businesses impacted by the pandemic to keep these institutions afloat during these tough times.