The 2010s marked a time of oscillation between historic progress and frightening backlash.
By now, the movement had gone from the margins to the mainstream.
In 2012, President Barack Obama became the first sitting president to support marriage equality, and the Democratic Party soon followed suit.
On June 26, 2015, in the landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land.
This remarkable decision, the result of decades of organizing work and legal progress, has led to hundreds of thousands of marriages.
The above photo shows demonstrators celebrating outside the Supreme Court after the decision was announced.
Throughout the decade, transgender visibility skyrocketed. Additionally, the 2018 midterm elections, saw a ‘Rainbow Wave’ of elected LGBTQ politicians, from Colorado Governor Jared Polis to Representative Sharice Davids.
Still, activists continued to fight for nondiscrimination protections in areas like housing, employment, and healthcare.
And with increasing transgender visibility came conservative backlash at both the state and national levels. The above photo shows North Carolina organizers marching in protest of a new state law requiring transgender people to use the restroom that coincided with their biological gender.
The election of Donald Trump in 2016 also led to four years of attacks on the LGBTQ community, and in particular, transgender Americans.
Among many other actions, the Trump administration sought to limit transgender people’s access to healthcare, issued a ban on transgender people serving in the military, and fought to ban transgender student-athletes from competing in sports as their gender.
Due to the continued work of activists and organizations like these, along with the 2020 election of President Biden, the most pro-equality president in history, many of the Trump Administration’s policies have been overturned.
The decade closed with another landmark Supreme Court decision. On June 15, 2020, the court ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County that LGBTQ employees are protected from discrimination under the law. The majority opinion was written by conservative Trump appointee, Neil Gorsuch.