Moving forward.

"I still believe in America, and I always will. Our nation needs us, now, more than ever."

As a progressive gay latino, this election has been especially hard. The results felt very personal and showed that our nation is much more divided than most people ever thought.

Overall — I have a lot of respect for Republicans. They’re the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan — nothing is wrong with that, at face. The issue I take is when people take that label and expand on it to the point that any sense of decency and justice is lost.

The image of my latino grandfather and cousin proudly wearing their Trump hats is seared into my mind.

It’s been hard, but I’m okay, because I know it’s okay, to not be okay. Despite the results, I still believe in America, and I always will. We have a lot of work to do, to unify the people who feel so disconnected and disenfranchised from our government. It won’t be easy but the best achievements are strenuous.

We as progressive advocates must begin by setting a single priority: justice.

This is why I move forward.

For the 11+ million Mexican immigrants, who seek the American dream.

The idea of mass deportation has been called unrealistic and ineffective multiple times. According to analysis from the Center for American Progress, it would bring down the nation’s GDP by 2.6 percent, two-thirds of the decline experienced during the Great Recession. Besides the issues of morality and ethics, it would hurt our nation.

For the people in this nation who don’t appear to be white.

During the campaign, people thought they were seeing the worst of America — supporters of a candidate were thrown out of a rally solely because of the color of their skin. Now, in New York City, people of color are being asked to sit in the back of the bus, people have had threatening notes left on their car saying “better watch your back,” and students have had guns pulled on them being told that “they don’t belong.”

For children of the future, so that they can go outside without a mask to protect them from air pollution.

Despite a vast scientific consensus, the President-Elect has said Global Warming is a “hoax,” perpetuated by the Chinese.

For women, across the nation and around the world.

America’s President-Elect is a serial misogynist and sex abuser. Trump has said that he can “grab ’em [women] by the pussy…. just kiss…when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

For our Gold Star Families.

They deserve the highest respect — not the insolent comment, “I’ve made a lot of sacrifices.”

For our Muslim brothers and sisters.

Muslim Americans faced relentless discrimination after 9/11 — it was never okay. Now that we have an islamophobic leader, attacks on them have intensified and it cannot continue. Somia Elrowmeim’s 11 year old daughter said, the morning after the election that “I’m going to be scared in the streets… If any of us are attacked, are the police going to protect us or not?”

For our LGBTQ friends, neighbors and fellow citizens.

The President-Elect wants to take away the right to marry the person you love. His partner in crimes against humanity, Mike Pence said we should go to jail just for applying for a license to marry the person we love. Gay couples faced 18 months in prison.
Pence further said, in 2000, that Federal money should go to “institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” Essentially conversion therapy. It’s becoming less common, but conversion therapy is known to include electroshock therapy.Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak said that electroshock therapy is torture — illegal under multiple national and international laws and treaties.

Staying engaged and active in our democracy has become more important than ever.

Our millennial generation has taken a giant leap forward. Without us, Hillary would not have won the popular vote and Trump would have swept many more states. We may seem selfish and entitled, but we care more about justice than any other generation. We stand up to professors, protest on our campuses, take to the streets and even quit jobs to fight for what’s right.

I still believe in America, and I always will. It won’t be easy but the best achievements are strenuous. Our nation needs us, now, more than ever.

This is why I move forward — will you join me?