Ignore the rumors, Donald Trump is not neutral on LGBTQ issues and under his presidency it is our everyday lives that will be most affected. Marriage Equality is the least likely of all of our victories to be reversed, at least in the immediate future. Instead, the first attacks will be felt when our health insurance benefits are threatened and canceled, when our survivor and tax benefits are yet again something we must fight for, when the support of LGBTQ social services organizations is endangered, when transgender children again lack any protections in our public schools and when federal contractors can discriminate against us in employment. These were just some of the gains brought by a pro-LGBTQ president’s pen, and as such they can be erased. Trump has signed onto the most explicitly anti-LGBTQ policy platform in history, chosen as vice president the former Indiana governor who championed a law allowing discrimination based on religious beliefs, appointed known bigots and white supremacists to cabinet positions, and vowed to support states’ efforts to deny transgender individuals equal access to the most basic of facilities. It is true that he doesn’t say much to reveal how he feels about, well, anything of substance and then not in any detail. We are, as requested by his advisor Kellyanne Conway, judging Trump by what’s in his heart and not by what may (or may not) come out of his mouth.
We are called to be active in change now more than ever. It is imperative that our impassioned defenses of our communities and others who are in the bullseye are not restricted to the arguments we’re having with Uncle Dick on facebook. Stay vigilant and active in defending our lives. Steel yourself for the hold on all progress we’ll likely witness at the national level. Find in yourself and protect some balance of love and fight, if only for your own resilience. Dissent, dissent, dissent.
Emily Dievendorf, President Lansing Association for Human Rights