By Natalie E. Pearlman (she/her), Andy Kelly (they/them), & Oliver A. Guevarra (he/him)

Every year in April, tens of thousands of students around the nation take a vow of silence to bring attention to the lack of inclusivity in schools for LGBTQIA+ students and highlight the harassment many of them experience in the classroom.

2022 GLSEN Day of Silence Palm Card

2022 GLSEN Day of Silence Palm Card

This year, the National Day of Silence, on April 22nd, is hosted by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). It began as a nonviolent protest in 1996 by a small group of students at the University of Virginia. It has since grown into a national movement with thousands of LGBTQIA+ student organizations pushing their schools to pay attention- to make their hallways safer, include LGBTQIA+ representation in the curriculum, and stop using blatantly homophobic and transphobic school policies to erase student identities.

General Online LGBTQIA+ Resources
- The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA World)
- Gender Reveal Slack Group

Many students across the country will again take a vow of silence to highlight the harassment present in their schools. Other students must loudly raise their voices in protest as elected officials in their states attempt to pass laws discriminating against LGBTQIA+ students. Currently, there is an overwhelming number of anti-transgender legislation in our country. Among these many bills is Idaho, which is attempting to classify gender-affirming care for minors as “mutilation” (HB 675), and Tennessee, which would provide legal protection to misgender transgender youth in their classrooms (SB 2777). The world is telling LGBTQIA+ students that their life and identity have no value in our country. These are just two of dozens of horrifying bills in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, and others that are legislating our LGBTQIA+ youth, particularly transgender youth, out of existence.

This month, as LGBTQIA+ youth and their student allies, take vows of silence and urge politicians to “Say Gay” to protect their rights, we encourage you to consider how you can better support your LGBTQIA+ peers, patients, and community members. If you are unfamiliar with the proposed legislation threatening our youth, read the legislative summaries and personal accounts of transgender youth and their families. While coordinated protests involving vows of silence can be powerful, especially when championed by our youth, those of us with the power to vote and pressure legislators must use our voices. These anti-transgender bills are not the first time the LGBTQIA+ community has had to fight legal discrimination, and it, unfortunately, will not be the last. To help you increase your awareness and support the LGBTQIA+ community, we have included a list of some local Sacramento organizations, LGBTQIA+-owned businesses, and educational resources. This list is not expansive, but is a good place to start!

UC Davis Health LGBTQ+ Resources
Gender Hormone Clinic
Gender & Sexuality Diversity (GSD) Student Organization
UC Davis Health PRIDE
Vice Chancellor's LGBTQ+ Advisory Council

For our LGBTQIA+ community reading this article- we see you, we value you, and we persist alongside you. We hope that the local Sacramento and online resources included in this article will help you further increase your LGBTQIA+ community and sense of support.

LGBTQIA+ identifying UC Davis School of Medicine students at the Class of 2025 Induction
LGBTQIA+ identifying UC Davis School of Medicine students at the Class of 2025 Induction

Full list of resources

UC Davis Health LGBTQIA+ resources

Gender Hormone Clinic: A collaboration between UC Davis School of Medicine and Gender Health Center providing hormone replacement therapy, PReP prescriptions, and sexuality transmitted infection testing and treatment.

Gender Reveal Slack Group: This slack is an online space rooted in trans community and emotional support, associated with the Gender Reveal podcast that explores the diversity of trans experiences.

Gender & Sexuality Diversity (GSD) Student Organization: A student group on the UC Davis School of Medicine campus for medical students, residents, and faculty. The goal is to promote public awareness, advance LGBTQ+ future health professionals, and create community.

ILGA World: The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association is a global organization focused on campaigning for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex human rights through advocacy, research, and awareness initiatives.

UC Davis Health PRIDE: UC Davis Health employee-led group that advocates for the needs of the LGBTQ+ community at UCDH and empowers LGBTQ+ employees to develop supportive social networks.

Vice Chancellor’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Council: The council provides recommendations to the Vice Chancellor and UC Davis Health at large to help assess, plan, develop, implement, improve, and refine efforts toward LGBTQ+ initiatives. Save the date for the Improving OUTcomes Conference October 7-8, 2022!

LGBTQIA+ current events

Below is an overview of the most recent bills as of March 2022 mentioned in the article currently targeting the LGBTQIA+ community. This list is not comprehensive as new legislation is introduced daily. These bills are all at varying points of progress in the legislative system.

Florida: The “Don’t Say Gay” bill expected to be signed by Governor Ron DeSantis will sign into law that teachers cannot discuss LGBTQ+ identities with certain age groups.

  • Other states have also introduced bills regulating the discussion of LGBTQIA+ topics in schools.

Texas: According to the Texas Governor and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), Gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth is “child abuse.”

  • The governor has directed DFPS to investigate families of trans youth. Investigations are currently underway to determine the validity of this directive.

Idaho: Gender affirming healthcare for transgender youth is “mutilation” according to HB 675 passed by Idaho House.

  • If passed, medical professionals or parents offering healthcare such as hormones or puberty blockers to minors would face a felony charge with a maximum sentence of life in prison. Excluded from this bill are non-consensual surgeries on intersex minors.

Louisiana: The “Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act” (HB 570) would prohibit gender-affirming healthcare or referrals for trans minors.

Other States: Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arizona, and Alaska have proposed bills targeting transgender student-athletes.

LGBTQIA owned & friendly establishments in Sacramento

Babes Ice Cream & Donuts: (LGBTQIA+ owned) Babes is a cute local ice cream and donut shop that is 100% vegan and gluten-free.

Badlands: (LGBTQIA+ owned) Another one of Sacramento’s premier LGBT nightclubs, Badlands is a place where you can enjoy some drinks and time on the dancefloor.

Bear Dive: (LGBTQIA+ owned) Bear Dive is a neighborhood sports bar that invites LGBTQIA+ community members to come as they are and enjoy their offerings of food, beer, and pool tables.

Faces: Faces is a popular Sacramento gay nightclub with good entertainment, music, and lots of dancing.

LES Tattoos: (LGBTQIA+ owned) LES Tattoos is a female-owned private tattoo studio seeking to establish a nonjudgmental, friendly, and safe environment for all individuals to enjoy their tattoo experience.

Mercantile Saloon: Locally referred to as “The Merc”, Mercantile Saloon is a local gay bar in downtown Sacramento where you can enjoy music from their jukebox while sipping on a frosty beverage.

Mezcal Grill: (LGBTQIA+ owned) Mezcal Grill is a local Mexican restaurant with locations on Broadway (down the street from UC Davis Health) and in South Natomas.

The Depot: (LGBTQIA+ owned) Affiliated with Badlands, The Depot is a staple neighborhood gay bar that hosts weeknight events, including pool and trivia.

LGBTQIA+ community spaces in Sacramento 

Gender Health Center: The Gender Health Center is a trans and POC-led grassroots nonprofit organization providing healthcare and advocacy services, including but not limited to counseling, healthcare system navigation, legal support, and HIV/STI testing.

Lavender Library: Lavender Library is a volunteer-run lending library that provides the LGBTQIA+ community a safe space and archive of LGBTQIA+ books, films, and other media. (Currently under renovation - Spring 2022)

Marsha P. Johnson Center South: The center is affiliated with the Sacramento LGBT Center and aims to eliminate health disparities plaguing the LGBTQIA+ community and provide culturally-sensitive and inclusive healthcare. Services include HIV/STI testing, rapid COVID testing, health navigation & education, and gender-affirming care services & referrals.

Sacramento LGBT Center: The center strives to create a safe environment for LGBTQIA+ community members, providing health & wellness resources, legal assistance, housing services, community events, and more.

Varsity Gay League: Established in 2007, Varsity Gay Leauge (VGL) is a sports organization providing the LGBTQIA+ community with a space to engage in friendly and competitive sports.

LGBTQIA+ advocacy organizations 

Equality Texas: This organization “works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.”

Fenway Institute Guidelines and Learning Modules: The Fenway Institute offers guidelines and learning modules for trauma-informed practices regarding LGBTQ+ healthcare.

UC Davis Health affiliates can access these trainings for free by using our facility code here.

Trans Family Network: This organization is a “volunteer-run nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting volunteers across the country with members of the trans community in need….and combat[ing] anti-trans legislation with a network of love, support, and understanding.” Trans Family Network created this app to help trans individuals and their families request or offer services to others in the community.

Trans Legal Defense & Education Fund: This fund is “committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, and public policy efforts.”

Trevor Project: The organization’s mission is “to end suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning young people.” Services offered include crisis services, peer support, research, public education, and advocacy.