Not even two hours after President Trump took the oath of office, his scrupulous administration went to work in an attempt to erase the freedoms that our Constitution promises. What used to link to the LGBT page of the White House’s website is now gone, the link eradicated and replaced by a splash page urging visitors to enter an email address for updates from the new president. A page that was once used by the White House as an education tool equipped with information on advancing LGBT rights that provided access to pivotal resources such as the It Gets Better Project, stopbullying.gov and a long list of work detailing President Obama’s dedication to the community has vanished. And in addition to removing a page about climate change, LGBTQ is a term, as of right now, you cannot find anywhere on the White House website.
Before the nomination, before the election and even before the inauguration, we were told that our fears for the LGBT community weren’t legitimate. But during the “peaceful” transition of power, it’s been demonstrated that our fears were even more real than we could have imagined. This first step, only hours into a new administration, is the first glimpse into what’s in store for the future of not only those in the LGBT community, but also all Americans who believe in and fight for equality. Just recently, the White House LGBT Liaison Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, the nation’s first transgender person to hold the position, expressed concern that President Trump would eliminate the position, a move that would abolish a much-needed voice for the community in our nation’s most powerful office.
Today, we launched our #LoveInclusive campaign, not knowing how important it would be, how much we were going to need to remind the American people to love and not hate. And although our first reaction of today’s news was anger and astonishment, we cannot allow hate to drive our fears. We must rise and continue to fight for the freedoms of all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their gender, no matter their sexual orientation, no matter their beliefs, no matter their income.
President Obama was a fierce cheerleader of the LGBT community, and he paved the way, stepping his foot into the path that we will continue to walk down. It might be a long, tiresome fight. But know this, President Tump and Vice President Pence, we will never stop fighting for what’s right. And to our wonderful, vivacious, passionate LGBT community, they can try to exclude us from the White House’s website, they can try to erase our history, but they cannot hide from our powerful voice. We promise to never stay silent.
We encourage you to join us and share what being equality-minded means to you with our hashtag, #LoveInclusive on Instagram. It’s up to us to spread this message as far and wide as we can and let our community know that we stand with them.