Dear Gay White Brothers:
Earlier this morning, Hillary Clinton called President-elect Donald Trump to concede the election. It feels like the country was thirsty for change. And it saw a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and thought, well why the heck not try it?
I just called my mom to talk through the plan my husband and I will put in place if/when Trump/Pence make good on their promise to repeal our marriage. As I prepare to guest lecture a public policy class on the fight for marriage equality this evening, I'm reminded that we have been tested before. We regrouped, we fought back, we stuck together, we shared our stories, we recruited new allies – and we won.
A few months ago, I wrote a post urging my fellow gay white brothers to bring the lessons we’ve learned to the broader fight for equality and justice. On a dreadful day like this one, that message needs to be heard more than ever.
Our president-elect is a sexual predator. He vilifies immigrants and non-white citizens. He demeans women and mocks people with disabilities. He empowers and promotes white supremacists. He and his running mate have pledged to overturn Roe v. Wade, tear apart undocumented families, repeal Obamacare, violate the Geneva Conventions, and slash funding for government services while giving tax breaks to the wealthy. Our 45th president believes global warming is a hoax “created by and for the Chinese.”
As a gay white man, I have a responsibility now more than ever to stand shoulder to shoulder with those who will come under attack throughout the Trump/Pence White House. Yes, our community will also be attacked, but now is not the time to look inward and focus solely on the fight for LGBTQ equality. We have built our political power and made significant gains under President Obama. We need to use what we have learned to not only protect and expand our rights, but also to help others who are oppressed and feel vulnerable.
Once again, I am inspired by the words of President Obama: “We have a responsibility to stand up for freedom — not just our own freedom, but for everybody’s freedom... because we remember what silence felt like when hatred was directed at us, and we’ve got to be champions on behalf of justice for everybody, not just our own.”
Gay people know how to fight back when we’re attacked. We know how it feels to be used as a political weapon to win an election. We know not only the fundamentals to change hearts and minds, but also how to advance policy at the state level and across party lines. We have been battle tested. And we have some of our biggest battles ahead.
So today, let’s grieve and mourn the loss of that other, sweeter future that could have been. And then tomorrow, let’s double down and get back to this life-long struggle for a more perfect country and world. Let’s lobby Congress for meaningful immigration reform. Let’s march for women’s lives and in defense of reproductive freedom. Let’s step up and fight back against the literal and political attacks on our fellow brothers and sisters.
Last night, Donald Trump won. Today, an entire generation will be inspired to take up arms against his radical agenda. Let’s not stay on the sidelines in this fight.
We got this.