A Message to the LGBTQ+ Community Following Election 2016

As Americans, we treasure our democratic values which courageously declare the dignity and worth of every person to determine their own path toward life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So strongly do we cherish this value, that we defend it even when the majority of our electors choose to follow a path which does not uphold the dignity and worth of every person, but rather the supremacy and privilege of its white, Anglo-Saxon, and straight cisgender male citizens.

As a community of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer plus people, we are continuously let down and oppressed by our Federal, State, and Local governments. We are let down by our friends and neighbors who put their economic stability over our individual liberty and freedom. And last night we were grievously let down by our family, our friends, and even some of our allies. Today, we feel betrayal, we feel grief, we feel anger, and we feel fear.

We are right to fear the uncertainty of the path which lies before us. We will most certainly see attempts made by our Local, State, and Federal governments to strip away all of the rights we have reclaimed over the past eight years. The transgender community will certainly see bills put forward which will limit our access to bathrooms which affirm our gender. We will certainly see bills which will prohibit us from serving our country in the armed forces. We will certainly see bills which will make it even more difficult and costly to access transition-related healthcare. And we will, with our other LGBTQ+ family, see bills overturning our right to marry and bills funding conversion therapies which the medical community has warned are harmful to LGBTQ+ people. And from where we stand right now, we have no idea whether bills such as these will pass. And we fear in our hearts that they will indeed pass now that every branch of our Federal government is set squarely against us.

Yet, while we fear the uncertainty of the future, there is one thing about which we can remain confident. We will not give up our fight for equality in this nation of ours. Even in my profound grief for you, my family, I have not given up the fight nor the hope that in fighting we become stronger. Our work is far from finished, and our strength is far from gone. I encourage each and every one of you to remain passionate about yourselves and about our great cause. In the path ahead we will be tempted to be discouraged and to give up. And that feeling is normal. Know that there are millions of people willing to reach out and grab you when you stumble, help you forward when you can no longer fight. We are indeed stronger together, because when we walk together we can strengthen one another as we stand, comfort one another when discouraged, and together we will reach our destination. Maybe not unharmed, maybe much more worn than when we left, but we will arrive together.

If you are in crisis, please reach out for help. Crisis resources can be found here.

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