Scroll To Top

Dear Queer America: It's Time to Rise to Power


Don't let Trump scare you into submission; it's time to take back America — here's how.

Given our current tumultuous and polarizing social and political climate, members of the queer community can’t be blamed for fearing that Trump’s America represents the greatest threat we have yet to face. However, the Trump administration, the alt-right, and every emotion and belief wrapped up in the movement to “make American great again,” ain't no thing to the LGBT population. The truth is, queer people have faced and defeated far greater foes in the past. Now we just need to finish the fight.

Today, we face a newly emboldened populous led by the highest office in our nation. The legitimacy Mike Pence garnered as the Vice President elect gives revived validity to the belief that being LGBT is a disease that we can be cured from (he’s previously supported “conversion therapy”). As Governor of Indiana, Pence rejected the Obama Administration’s directive on transgender bathrooms, he opposed the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and, in 2006 — as Time magazine reported — Pence said gay marriage signaled pending “societal collapse.” As Governor of Indiana, Pence also presided over the state’s worst HIV outbreak, a health crisis many believe Pence’s policies contributed to. 

Now Pence is Trump’s second in command and leading the President-elect’s transition team: which has already named alt-right darling and Brietbart News executive Steve Bannon as chief strategist, and whose other potential appointments would seem almost comical (an oil executive to head the Department of the Interior, Alaska’s Sarah Palin to lead Department of Energy) if they weren’t so frightening.  Add the names Trump has floated as potential Supreme Court Justices, his pledges to repeal the Affordable Care Act and deport immigrants, and the racist tenor of his rallies: and Trump’s Administration seems to represent a real and present danger for LGBT Americans, people living with HIV, and every other minority community in our country.

And yet, Trump’s inner circle has already revealed their greatest weakness: because where they divide, we unite. The best thing about being a part of the LGBT community is that it is made up such a vast and diverse group of people from all races, religious beliefs, socio-economic backgrounds, immigrant status, and sexual orientation and gender identity. Our interests, our politics, and our experiences may differ; but our dramatic diversity is actually what unites us. It is through inclusivity that we not only survive but thrive; and it’s what will embolden us to stand up against injustice and rage against those who cast judgment.

Dear fellow LGBT Americans: now is the time to join together, now is the time for us to claim our power.  Now that we’ve had time to grieve, it’s time to take action. Instead of exhausting ourselves on countless social media post, arguing with Trump supporters, or trying to immigrate to Canada; let’s work to elect people and pass policies that reflect our progressive and inclusive worldview.  Our rights are not limited to our sexuality, gender, or HIV status. This campaign has highlighted who we need to be creating coalitions with going forward. We now have the voice and presence to include other minorities as stakeholders and the efforts of other marginalized populations in our platform.

As our marriage equality victory has proven, we know how to gather and rally supporters, how to protest and keep our issues in the news, how to write legal briefs and argue in court that this nation’s diversity is protected by our constitution. Now, let’s take back political power. Let’s take inventory of the local, county, state, and federal offices that can give us a voice in creating an America we can be proud of. Let’s recruit qualified candidates and get them elected or appointed to positions that help us legitimize the inclusive America in which we are a part of.

Small minded, xenophobic people are actually the minority in this country. We are the majority; we have just allowed others to dominate the political system.  We have the support and we have the numbers needed to take this country back, to take back the power. The next step is to nurture and develop future political leaders that don’t just represent our interests but embody them. We need to become the leaders of tomorrow—whether sitting on local committees, running for political office, or supporting others who are running or serving.

Most importantly, we must not flee the red states and middle America where so many of us originally hail from  and many continue to live. As a proud Texan gay man myself, I’m ready to embrace the culture I’ve come from while fighting for my right to be welcome in any part of America I choose to reside. I hope you’ll join me.  Frankly, as long as the electoral college system gives swing states a disproptionate ability to determine the outcomes of Presidential elections it’s the only way to ensure our votes have the results we want them to have.

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of such a binary-colored electoral map. If anyone can show our country what it’s like to live in a Technicolor world, it’s us queers. So let’s do it. If we start now, we can rule the 2018 elections; which will have real impacts both immediately and in the administrations to come.

Coming out is so last decade. In 2018, let's take over. 

Out Magazine - Fellow TravelersAdvocateChannel promotion

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories