New US LGBTQ-rights envoy sees reasons for hope and worry

NEW YORK (AP) — Jessica Stern will soon become the State Department’s special diplomatic envoy for LGBTQ rights. Stern is the executive director of a New York-based advocacy group. As she assesses the challenges that lie ahead, she sees a mix of promising developments and worrisome news almost everywhere she looks. There is anti-LGBTQ violence in many places, and a new law in Hungary that’s widely viewed as discriminatory. Even in the United States, Stern’s admiration for President Joe Biden’s many moves supporting LGBTQ rights is offset by her dismay at other developments. These include persisting violence against transgender women of color and a wave of legislation to limit sports participation and medical options for trans youth.