The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center Statement of Support for LGBTQ2S+ Relatives, National State of Emergency


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The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center Statement of Support for LGBTQ2S+ Relatives, National State of Emergency

(LAME DEER, Mont., July 14, 2023)—In an unprecedented move on June 6, 2023, the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ2S+ civil rights organization in the United States, officially declared a National State of Emergency for “LGBTQ2S+ Americans” for the first time in its 40-year history. This announcement comes in response to a devastating increase in anti-LGBTQ2S+ legislative assaults taking place across various state houses — in just this year alone.

Given the volatile political climate, it is evident that our Indigenous LGBTQ2S+ relatives, residing in both urban and non-reservation areas, face an elevated and alarming risk of harm. The National Indigenous Women's Resource Center (NIWRC), a Native-led, women-centered organization, wholeheartedly stands in solidarity with our LGBTQ2S+ relatives. NIWRC's administration, staff, and board will continue to lead with compassion and trauma-informed action in the face of transphobic, anti-women, and hateful language, acts, and legislation that flagrantly disregard and endanger the LGBTQ2S+ community.

NIWRC recognizes that domestic violence and sexual violence disproportionately impact individuals of all genders. Our work to raise awareness of gender-based violence includes a commitment to honoring traditional Indigenous teachings that promote respect for all identities and celebrate diversity. As relatives, we carry the responsibility to raise our voices against harmful actions toward our LGBTQ2S+ community. We firmly align ourselves with the Human Rights Campaign declaration, asserting that the fundamental rights and freedoms of every individual must be protected and honored. 

“NIWRC is committed to continuing our work to raise awareness about gender-based violence, which includes a staunch commitment to honoring traditional Indigenous teachings that promote respect and safety for all identities, celebrating diversity,” says NIWRC Executive Director Lucy Simpson. “Together, we can create a culture of inclusivity and support where all individuals, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, are valued and protected from violence and abuse.”

NIWRC’s Ongoing Support and Research

On April 28, 2023, the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) issued a statement opposing anti-transgender legislation and legislators.

According to a study by the Williams Institute, LGBTQ+ people are nine times more likely than non-LGBTQ+ people to experience violent hate. Transgender and Two-Spirit individuals also face an elevated risk of domestic violence and sexual assault, primarily due to the discrimination, stigma, and financial and housing insecurity experienced by the transgender community. The U.S Transgender Survey highlights that 54% of transgender individuals will encounter domestic violence in their lifetime.

Additionally, according to the Williams Institute, 8% of transgender adults were homeless in the past year, compared to 2.5% of cisgender gay, lesbian, and bisexual adults. Moreover, transgender individuals are three times more likely to experience homelessness than their lesbian, gay, or bisexual counterparts. Given the vulnerability of our transgender relatives experiencing heightened levels of violence and homelessness today, it is essential that spaces for survivors, including shelters, prioritize inclusivity and support for them.

Shelters must remain a safe and nurturing refuge, and gender identity should never be used to discriminate against anyone seeking help.

Information and Resources




For those hurting and in need of support, the Trevor Project has trained counselors who understand the challenges LGBTQ2S+ people face. They are available 24/7.
Call 1-866-488-7386, text 678678, or chat at  

For relatives seeking culturally-based resources, please visit the StrongHearts Native Helpline. This is a safe, confidential helpline created by and for Indigenous people to reach out for help 24 hours a day, seven days a week by phone, chat, or text at 1-844-762-8483 or by visiting

Everyone deserves to feel safe. We see you. We support you. We honor your spirit.