Friday, November 11, 2016

There's Still Room for Hope #LGBTQ #election

Friday morning I read a statement by the Trans Lifeline, a suicide hotline tailored to the unique needs of transgender people. The day after the election, 8 transgender people killed themselves and several others were hospitalized for unsuccessful attempts.

It broke my heart to learn the most vulnerable section of our Rainbow Community is in crisis. Every day we lose another life. Why? Because the press is predicting Armageddon and headlines are scary as shit right now.

I've had the same I-don't-want-to-live-on-this-planet-anymore sensation as everyone else this week, but I think in our rush to get past the awful foreboding to a real scenario, we're making too many assumptions and forgetting a few key truths.

Truth 1: You can't trust the press, a fact they've demonstrated consistently for at least a decade now. Accuracy doesn't matter. They print whatever gets the most clicks even if they have to outright lie. Let's face it, fear sells even better than sex. 

The stories they're telling are pure speculation based on nothing but conjecture and assumption.

Yes, the haters are out in full force because they think the election results mean hatred is now fashionable. That's not true. The new President-Elect won because of the Electoral College, not because a majority of Americans agree with his racist, divisive evidenced by the tens of thousands of protestors still in the streets days later. Clinton won the popular vote and when everything is tallied, they expect her to be somewhere around a million votes ahead. 

As usual, the haters are ill-informed.

Truth 2: Just because we're putting Toilet Paper (Trump/Pence = TP = toilet paper) in the White House doesn't mean the rest is guaranteed. Neither of these men have any experience on The Hill and there is no proof they are widely respected in D.C. There is, however, overwhelming proof one of them is widely loathed. 

Congress has spent the last eight years proving they can be childish and petty. It's difficult to predict what that snotty attitude will mean when Toilet Paper starts trying to push bills through. It wouldn't be the first time Congress decided to block something they secretly agree with just to be spiteful.

Truth 3: We have built an incredible movement over the last several years. Not just here, but internationally. Our push for equality started a wave that has washed over every continent, empowering millions. We even gained the official and enthusiastic backing of the United Nations.

We're not in this alone. We have allies and activists all over the world fighting with us. 

Yes, this is a slap in the face and yes, holding our ground may be a struggle, but it's not impossible. I've read the requests for the new administration to roll back our federal rights. While that may happen, it doesn't mean we all go back in the closet. It means the fight reverts to each individual state. That's not a tragedy. Dozens of pro-LGBT organizations are already in the midst of that battle.

Take heart, my Rainbow peeps! Don't let the stories of an anti-LGBT apocalypse scare you. So far, they're only stories. When the real version hits, we'll tackle it one obstacle at a time, the way we always have.

The Toilet Paper era is temporary. Our fight for equality isn't.

I'm sharing this video again because I'm in love with it! And because I think we need the reminder. 

We're not alone. 

Together we can do this.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

America's Brexit - Now What? #election #LGBTQ

If you're feeling a bit panicky today, you're not alone. So many Americans freaked out last night over the election results, the US crashed Canada's immigration website. No, I'm not kidding. (Sorry, Canada. We're having a moment.)

We're about to put two men in the White House who stand firmly and proudly against every minority in the country. One of whom made cyber bullying his official campaign platform. The other turned his home state into a haven for homophobes. I imagine a lot of people are standing around with a knot in their stomach wondering what the hell we do now.

I have a suggestion.

Get involved.

A lifetime of personal catastrophes have taught me not to dwell on the wreckage, but to gather my resolve and move forward. That's what we have to do. It doesn't matter who's to blame for this dark moment in history. What matters is how we respond to it and I'm with HRC President Chad Griffin when he said "[we] will continue our fight for equality and justice for all with greater urgency and determination than ever before. We must. Lives literally depend on it."

We need to be prepared to meet whatever challenges are coming, which means there's no time for wallowing. Every day counts. 

If you're not plugged into an LGBTQ organization, now is a great time to do so. Volunteers don't need any special qualifications beyond a determination to see people's rights protected. If you're not in a position or location that makes it possible to donate time, donating money is a great thing to add to your list of New Year's resolutions.

This election means some things will change. Probably for the worse. It might force us to live our truth a little louder. A little prouder. A little more determinedly, but we will get through this together. Thankfully, we have a lot of people in LGBTQ history to use as inspiration. They didn't give up. Even when things looked hopeless. Neither will we.