It’s still hard to believe that Donald Trump won the election. His victory sent a harrowing message to the country, especially to many of us in the LGBTQ community. So far, his cabinet member choices are completely anti-LGBTQ. All of them have either voted for some bill that denied us of fundamental rights like, job protections or the right to marry.
Trump’s top White House adviser and former chairman of the heinous Breitbart News, Steve Bannon has published ridiculous headlines like “It’s Time to Get Back in the Closet,” “Dear Straight People: I’m Officially Giving You Permission To Say Gay, Faggot And Queer,” and “Day Of Silence: How The LGBT Agenda Is Hijacking America’s Youth.” Then we have Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who is basically the czar of LGBTQ discrimination.
With this band of clowns, it’s very easy to get discouraged and depressed about the next four years. However, we have to press on and continue the fight, regardless of what lies ahead.
But what are our next steps? Well, here are a few things we can do to strengthen our community and hopefully invigorate our cause.
Hold LGBTQ organizations accountable
Pressure these LGBTQ organizations to do more than send funding emails and throw huge parties. Yes, they need to raise funds in order to survive, but they also need to work for the very people they serve. It’s time for these organizations to develop comprehensive plans that move us forward. And if these plans are short-sided, we will send it back. There’s too much at stake to have flimsy initiatives. HRC, The National LGBTQ Task Force, GLAAD and other groups must do better, and we have to make sure of that.
We shouldn’t battle with each other over which rights are more important. So, it’s imperative for us to be completely unified during this time. One of our biggest flaws is just focusing on a single issue. Our community has to accept the myriad of issues that besets us. Healthcare, adoption, job protections and education are just a few things that could be drastically changed by this new administration. We must come together and develop ways to keep these basic rights in our corner. Stepping out of our comfort zones and listening to the diverse matters within our community is important to our progression.
2018 isn’t that far away, folks. Finding strong House and Senate candidates should be one of our top priorities. We cannot afford to have any fair weather friends in the upcoming election. The LGBTQ vote isn’t something to be taken for granted. We should know the politician’s stance on critical issues and how far they are willing to go to see these policies through. Our support, our trust should be respected and honored. Most of these politicians cannot be successful without us so, let’s remind them of that every time they come to a LGBTQ center or Pride event, begging for our vote.
As the old saying goes, “There’s strength in numbers”. We can’t do this alone. It would wise for us to unite with other social justice groups. Working with other activists like: Black Lives Matter, NCLR and Planned Parenthood can be very beneficial and developmental. How do we achieve this? Well, let’s start by supporting their initiatives, attending their rallies and engaging in meaningful dialogue for future, collaborative projects. We can learn so much about each other’s causes, while diving deep into the overlapping pieces of our social identities.
Finally, we should always remember who we are. Our community is a staunch and fierce community, which has endured some of the harshest civil rights battles in history. From Stonewall, the AIDS epidemic, Bowers v. Hardwick and the Bush presidency, we’ve managed to come out stronger and wiser. We may get bruised and battered, but we always remain resilient.
We will get through this.