In 2023, more than 520 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country, according to the Human Rights Campaign. That is a record number.
Arkansas, for one, became the first state to ban gender-affirming care when Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed legislation into law in March.
That legislation succeeded even though three of every four queer students in the state reported experiencing a form of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination at school, according to a survey by GLSEN.
The Fenix Youth Refuge Experience, an after-school program in Fayetteville, Ark., has created a safe space for these youth. Through art, students have the opportunity to express themselves and to interact with others facing similar struggles.
In this video, they discuss their experiences navigating school life, and the impact the art program has had on them personally.
Coverage of afterschool learning opportunities is supported in part by a grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, at www.mott.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.