To all of my brave ones – who live boldly as yourselves, despite, and sometimes in spite of, the people who try to dim your radiant light. To those who, as Janelle Monae says, “defy every label.” To all my brave ones – who live quietly and remind us that being queer is a journey in self-love and is taken in our own time. To those who remind us that we all must assess our safety and acceptance every day.

To all of my young ones – who teach us the wisdom of youth and provide endless lessons in endurance and resistance. To my transgender youth who don’t give a f*ck about social gender norms and know who they are better than many of us adults know ourselves.

To my rainbow family. My beloved queer community.

I love you. I love us.

I love that we continue to string together letters that are meaningless without the context of identity, even though we know full-well that none of us can be contained by a single letter. I love that we can make the alphabet bend to our many needs and yet still come up short on adequate characters.

I love you, queer community, even though we have shortcomings. I love you, because I believe in you. I believe that we can continue to fight on behalf of our young ones who I want to inherit a more equal community than the one I came up in. I believe that while evil forces threaten the existence of all identities that intersect our queerness, we will each go to our excessively colorful closets and take our battle gear off the hanger. I believe that just because our “I do’s” are currently sacred, we know the struggle is not actually over.

My dearest queer community, I love you. I will fight with you. I will celebrate with you. I will resist with you. I will hold you in my heart especially close over the next four years.

To all of us. Together. In love.