2016 has been an emotional year for LGBTQ individuals ― and it’s not over yet.
In June, our community was targeted in the worst mass shooting in modern American history when the Pulse nightclub massacre left 49 queer people ― mostly of color ― dead.
At the legislative level, we’ve fought seemingly endless battles against lawmakers who are trying to control the most basic fundamental human rights of transgender Americans, like whether or not they should be allowed to use restrooms that best align with their gender identity.
We’ve also had to push back against a massive wave of religious freedom bills that attempt to enshrine bigotry and discrimination in a number of states across the country.
Now, following one of the most divisive election seasons in modern American history, we will head to the polls on Tuesday to decide the future of this nation as one candidate rides on what has rightfully been called the most anti-LGBTQ platform in the Republican party’s history.
Not only does the 2016 GOP platform condemn the 2015 SCOTUS decision on nation-wide same-sex marriage, it actively advocates for the highly dangerous practice of conversion therapy, something that intends to change someone’s sexuality or gender identity to meet heteronormative standards.
And while Trump may have pandered to queer people throughout the course of his election, his running mate Mike Pence actively supports conversion therapy and led a crusade against LGBTQ rights during his time as governor of Indiana.
Even scarier? Trump has said he would “strongly consider” appointing judges who would overturn SCOTUS’ same-sex marriage ruling, as well as other fundamental protections we’ve fought tirelessly for.
None of this is new information ― but it should be scary information. Trump has tapped into a portion of the American population that hates minorities and would rather see nothing more than our rights stripped away and the status quo maintained.
With that in mind, let’s recognize what is really at stake here: the progress we’ve made over the past several decades, but also the future of who we are as queer people and the world we are building for LGBTQ youth.
An immense amount is riding on Tuesday’s election for our movement ― more for the LGBTQ community than ever before. In the words of our Editor-at-Large Michelangelo Signorile,
“It is in fact time to harness the energy of the Sanders movement to keep Hillary Clinton’s feet to the fire and make sure she follows through on promises, as with any new president ― including her promise to push for the LGBT Equality Act. And if we, as progressives, do it not as fragmented movements― LGBTQ activists, environmentalists, Dreamers, etc.― but as one united force, it will happen all the more quickly.”
Go out and vote tomorrow and let’s keep this dangerous force out of the White House ― for all of our sakes, as united Americans.