Music icon Cher is sounding the alarm on the potential threats the transgender community could face from the Republican Party as the 2024 U.S. presidential election approaches.
The 77-year-old singer, known for hits like “Strong Enough,” has a personal connection to the trans community with her son, Chaz Bono, being transgender. In recent interviews, Cher emphasised the need for solidarity with the trans community, especially considering the increasing number of anti-LGBTQ+ stances among potential Republican presidential candidates.
Prominent among these is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has gained notoriety for introducing legislation such as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and banning gender-affirming healthcare for transgender minors. DeSantis has also restricted trans individuals from using restrooms that match their gender identity.
Other high-profile Republican contenders, such as former President Donald Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence, have also publicly threatened to ban gender-affirming healthcare nationwide if they regain office.
Adding to these concerns, numerous Republican-led states have tried to push through a wide array of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation this year, limiting the rights of transgender people and drag artists.
In an interview with The Guardian about her upcoming Christmas album, Cher spoke candidly about the current climate of discrimination facing transgender individuals. “They’re working on passing around 500 bills against the trans community,” she noted. “I truly don’t know what their end game is for these people, but I’m not taking anything off the table.”
Should Donald Trump win another term, Cher vowed to leave the United States. “I could hardly stomach it the first time he was elected in 2016. If it happens again, I’m out,” she declared.
Cher’s son, Chaz Bono, has also been vocal about the rising tide of hate in America. He recently told PinkNews that the hostility is eerily reminiscent of the AIDS epidemic in the ’80s and ’90s. “There’s a surge of hatred that’s unprecedented, and it’s not confined to LGBTQ+ individuals. This surge is also affecting Asians and African Americans,” Bono said.
He added, “It’s an incredibly difficult period, particularly for LGBTQ+ youth, who already face higher rates of suicide. It’s a very discouraging time, but we need to remember that things like this don’t last forever. It’s just incredibly tough to endure while it’s happening.”