What a Trump Presidency Means for LGBTQ Rights and How We Can Fight Back
I gave myself one day. One day to cry, to feel, to mourn. To mourn the loss of the country that I loved, of the era that I thought I was bringing my child into. That was Day 1. Today is Day 2. And on Day 2, we act.
We don't know what the plan of Trump and Pence is when it comes to the LGBTQ community, but what we do know is that the stance against the marriage equality ruling was on the official GOP platform (page 11). The platform pledged that they will appoint a Supreme Court judge who mirrors Scalia, in hopes of overturning the ruling. And the only way to turn over a Supreme Court decision is, well, with another Supreme Court decision.
As for Trump and Pence's personal positions, Pence has been extremely vocal against LGBTQ Americans, voting against the anti-discrimination law, opposed the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, rejected the Obama administration directive on transgender bathrooms, advocated for public spending on conversion therapy in Indiana (yes, really), amongst many other anti-gay stances. In short, Pence is actually scarier than Trump, if you can believe that.
As far as Trump, a picture from a Colorado rally showing him holding a rainbow flag (which he was holding upside down, by the way) and the fact that he showed support for gay Paypal founder/tech billionaire Peter Thiel have seemed to put people in a mindset that he's not anti-LGBT. However, these are likely nothing more than empty acts on the campaign trail (and I'm betting the “tech billionaire” part is what Trump was after in supporting Thiel). Trump has gone on record saying that he would “strongly consider” appointing judges to overturn the Marriage Equality Act, has pledged to sign the First Amendment Defense Act, and supported HB-2, the anti-transgender law in North Carolina.
The future looks pretty grim, and it's easy to simply give up and accept the fact that with a Republican-dominated House, Senate and White House, there's nothing we can do. But there is — as long as we have something worth fighting for, we should always, always fight. During times like this, we don't stand down, we double down — and here's how:
1. Write to Your Elected Leaders: Their job is to represent their communities. Write to them, tell them your stories, your struggles, and where you want them to stand on policies. Educate yourself on what's currently being voted on and let them know how you want them to vote. You can find your representative here and your senator here.
2. Support Equality Organizations: Organizations such as Freedom for All Americans and the HRC have strategic boots on the ground and are on the front lines of our equality battle. Donate time and/or money to these amazing groups so that they are able to do what they do best.
3. Don't Let Fear Win: We must continue telling our young LGBTQ Americans that it's okay for them to be who they are. We must continue raising our heads high with pride, and stand our ground, and teach love to our children. Hatred is unfortunately alive and strong, but we must not be silenced.
4. Volunteer: Make a difference by volunteering at your local shelters, support groups and clinics for at-risk LGBTQ youth.
5. Support Politicians Who Support Us: Promote potential political candidates who prioritize LGBT rights and vote accordingly during the midterm elections.
6. If you see something, say something. If you see verbal or physical abuse, and it is safe to do so, step in in a non-threatening manner. If it is not safe to do so, call 911 and make a scene so others can see what is happening.
As a lover of all things wedding and a fierce cheerleader for marriage equality, I decided to marry my two passions and create a resource where all couples—gay, straight and lesbian—can be equally represented. Armed with seven years in both print and online lifestyle journalism, I dove headfirst into this passion project in 2013 and Love Inc. was born.
I’m inspired every day by the couples that grace our pages, from the can’t-live-without-you grasps to the gentle sweeping away of a happy tear, the love that they so clearly have for each other is intoxicating, and drives me to create the best product possible … while enjoying every second of it.