Big Island Polls

Big Island Now Poll No. 16: What’s the biggest issue facing the LGBTQ+ community on the Big Island?

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The 11th annual Hawai‘i Island LGBTQ+ Pride Parade and Festival is being held June 24 in Downtown Hilo with the theme: “Fabulous Free Future.”

It was crafted to shed light on several issues currently affecting the community throughout the United States, specifically anti-drag queen laws, anti-transgender health care laws and book banning in schools and public libraries.

A person holds a rainbow flag touting equality as they watch the 2022 Pride Parade in Downtown Hilo. (File photo)

While there have been strides made throughout the United States on inclusion and acceptance of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, plus community since the first Pride march in 1970 in New York City, the fight for equality continues.

The Human Rights Campaign at the beginning of this month declared a state of emergency for the LGBTQ+ community. According to PBS News Hour, the organization said the declaration was in response to an “unprecedented and dangerous” increase in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in state houses this year — more than 525 bills have been introduced and more than 70 signed into law so far in 2023.


“Despite five decades of progress, equality is not within reach, and often not even within sight, for all persons impacted by violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the United States,’’ Victor Madrigal-Borloz, a United Nations independent expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, said in an August 2022 press release from the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner.

During a month when diversity and equality are at center stage in celebration and honor of the brave people who fought for it and those still on the front lines of the battle, the issues the LGBTQ+ community and its allies face now are hard to ignore.

For this weekʻs Big Island Now poll, we ask: Whatʻs the biggest issue now facing the LGBTQ+ community on the Big Island?


Press Here to Take the Poll

Leave a comment here or on social media to let us know why you voted the way you did — or if your answer is not on our list, let us know what it is. Results will be posted June 25 on Big Island Now.

You can also find the results from our previous poll asking “What’s the best Father’s Day gift?” by clicking here.

Nathan Christophel
Nathan Christophel is a full-time reporter with Pacific Media Group. He has more than 25 years of experience in journalism as a reporter, copy editor and page designer. He previously worked at the Hawaii Tribune-Herald in Hilo. Nathan can be reached at [email protected]
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