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Canada’s federal and provincial Conservative Parties are suddenly joining American-style culture wars centered on transgender issues, announcing new policies to crack down on access to medical care and women-only spaces, and restricting trans children from using chosen names and pronouns in schools.

It feels like anti-LGBTQ sentiment has been rising in the U.S. recently, and new data from the Human Rights Campaign backs that up. The analysis focused highly on gender-affirming care restrictions and bans nationwide targeting queer youth and adults alike. Twenty twenty-three saw a massive spike in that kind of legislation, with more than 550 bills introduced in 43 states, and more than 80 signed into law, more than doubling last year which was already the worst on record.

It’s a warm Friday evening at Dolce Veele, a café bar in Guadalajara’s Zona Rosa. A tall drag queen stands alone on a stage at the back. She’s leading karaoke tonight, belting out a Mexican country song in sync with a video of a handsome cowboy that plays out front to the open street. The young servers sing along, laughing and smart-assing her. Passersby smile or ignore them. Then one middle-aged man with his small son approaches and they get up on the barstools. He puts his son’s drink and snack on the counter and orders something for himself.

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