The reality is sinking in that Donald Trump will be President of the United States.
Trump has scapegoated immigrants, refugees, and Muslims to name. He wants to put people in the Supreme Court that would take away our rights to marriage. As I struggle to accept these results, here are some of my initial thoughts on how we move #ForwardTogether and the issues we should be thinking about in the days and months ahead.
1. If history is any indication, there will be an increase in hate crimes. Following our first African American President, we will have the first President in decades endorsed by the KKK. People who harbor hate in their hearts are feeling validated tonight, and will no doubt be emboldened in the days and months ahead. And we should prepare ourselves for it and look out for each other. To learn more read this article on 10 Hate Crimes Inspired by Donald Trump.
2. Elections like this have an impact on our mental health. We all want to be full and equal citizens of this Country, but much of the country voted for an agenda tonight that devalues Latinos, LGBT people, Muslims, and others. For some in the LGBT community, our own family members voted for an agenda that counts us as less than fully human. It’s normal for that to hurt, And we should expect folks to feel hopeless, to feel lost, and even to experience depression. We’ve seen this in places where marriage rights were reversed or voted down. “According to a quantitative study with more than 1,500 lesbian, gay, and bisexual participants, living in a U.S. State where same-sex marriage is outlawed was directly related to chronic social stress and psychological problems, and not due to pre-existing mental health issues or other factors.” (read the fact sheet here). We all should be checking in with our friends this week and making sure they are ok.
3. Federal Advocacy Requires New Approaches and Adjusted Expectations. While many of us were thinking about what could be accomplished in Hillary Clinton’s first 100 days, we are all going to have to adjust to this new reality. With Republican control of the House and Senate, advancing federal non-discrimination legislation is unlikely, and in many ways we will be shifting from offense to defense. Trump may have the opportunity to nominate multiple candidates to the Supreme Court and has promised to nominate candidates that will roll black equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.
4. State Advocacy Moves to the Front and Center. Passing legislation at the state level is a more realistic goal for the next few years. Advancing SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) non-discrimination laws in housing, employment, and public accommodation is crucial and may just be achievable in some states. North Carolina anti-LGBT Governor McCrory who signed anti trans ‘bathroom bill’ was voted out of office and will be by Democrat Roy Cooper. (read the HRC statement on the North Carolina Elections). Freedom for All Americans is one organization already working hard at the state level. State based organizations to look out for are Florida Competes, Georgia Unites, Freedom Indiana, Tennessee Equality Project, and Equality Pennsylvania.
5. Standing by our Allies is Now More Important than Ever. We’ve witnessed a campaign build on divisiveness. One important principal from the Clinton/Kaine campaign to carry with us starting tomorrow is that we are indeed Stronger Together. Standing with immigrants, refugees, the Latinx community, Muslims, and other communities threatened by a Trump Presicency will indeed make us stronger.
How do you think we move #ForwardTogether? Add your thoughts in the comments below.