'It's a very lonely world': For LGBT conservatives, anti-gay legislation prompts frustration, doubts

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Anti-gay laws denounced by LGBTQ conservatives who want inclusion

  • About 280 anti-trans measures involving athletics, education, healthcare or bathroom access were proposed in 2022.
  • LGBTQ conservatives are becoming increasingly concerned over whether the Republican Party is really the best fit for them.
  • “For every person who meets us, that’s maybe one less person who’s going to vote against us,” said one transgender Republican.

Jennifer Williams, a transgender woman who also chairs the Trenton Republican Committee in New Jersey, has tried to win over conservative hearts from within.

As the first openly transgender delegate to the 2016 Republican Convention in Cleveland, she went out of her way to meet people, she said. In one conversation with a high-profile delegate from South Carolina, Williams first connected with the man through common issues – economic policy, her family’s military background and her admiration for South Carolina’s then-Gov. Nikki Haley. Then she turned the conversation to the anti-transgender legislation under discussion in that state.

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