THE BLOG

President Trump And A New Era For The LGBT Community

09/11/2016 12:10
Andrew Kelly / Reuters

Today many of us woke up and reached for our phones with the same feeling of unease that we did on the morning #Brexit was announced. The poll predictions were wrong for the second time this year and now we face the disastrous consequences of complacency.

Donald J. Trump has been elected the 45th president of the United States of America. We've all had enough time now for that to sink in, but it still doesn't quite feel real. Throughout his campaign, Trump has incited violence against protestors, threatened to ban Muslims, build a wall, have his opponent arrested, attempted to quash the freedom of the press and has a running mate whose anti-LGBT policies threaten to force America back into the closest. How can he be president?

As was the case with Britain in June, prejudice and fear mongering overtook common sense. Millions of American voters claimed to feel disenfranchised and disengaged, despite having eight years with a president who will likely go down in history as one of the nation's best.

The sad fact of this is that the major powers of the West can no longer claim to be extinguishing racism, sexism and homophobia. We started the British LGBT Awards in the hope of eventually making ourselves redundant, but it doesn't seem like that time will be coming as soon as we hoped.

We're now entering a crucial era for diversity and equality. If the past five months have taught us anything, it's that we desperately need the Gina Millers and Nicola Sturgeons of the world. We need the state of Oregon, who officially elected their first openly gay Governor, Kate Brown.

We need to support people who stand up and speak out. We can't sit back in complacency, we need to be active, and actively remind those who are fighting for a better future that their efforts are not going unnoticed.

We openly stood behind Hillary, and we lost. So today, we'll mourn the lost steps we thought we'd made. But tomorrow, we'll get back to rewarding those who have demonstrated a commitment to equality, opportunity and fair treatment for all, in the hope that it will bring a better day for all of us.

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