I, like many Americans, had a night of little to no sleep. I’ve started this day in anger, sadness and so many other feelings because this country has elected an extremist President and Vice President and I fear the damage they will do. We need some time to process the news with our loved ones. Time to grieve and heal ourselves. Time to know that we are not alone.
I don’t want to accept that this is the America we live in, that its promise of freedom now feels fleeting. LGBTQ people, poor people, immigrants, people of color, Muslims, women, people with disabilities, so many of us… will need all of us to have each other’s and their backs — to stand together and fight for justice. I know the days ahead will be difficult.
That said, when we have given ourselves the time we need, we must move deliberately and fiercely forward — to protect what we have achieved and to think even bigger and bolder about the next era of progressive change, however long it may take. We have heard their plan — mass repeal for everything from food stamps for the very poor to Obamacare to marriage equality; mass deportations of immigrants; mass dehumanization of entire communities, and much more. We must do everything we can to stop the attacks we know are coming on the most vulnerable in our nation.
We will lift each other up. We will move forward together. Through our grief we will focus our resolve on a better future. I know we are all asking ourselves what we can do, what we should do. I know some of you just want to give up. Please don’t. We need you.
The Task Force has been at this place before. Feeling defeated and feeling despair, but our over forty years of work and progress gives me the inspiration and strength to march forward. To get up after being knocked down and to fight for the communities and people so close to my heart.
Many of us are searching for what we can do today. To feel connected, to take action, strategize and to help. There will be many ways in the coming days, weeks and months but here are a few for today:
- Be Connected to Others: Be with each other; it is all too easy to feel isolated. Reach out today to those you know are hurting with a kind word or call. There are hundreds of vigils and gatherings being planned for tonight across the country, organized by progressive groups coming together in solidarity. Learn more about events near you.
- Take Action: Stand with those who are standing up for what is right, and we encourage you to sign on to this open letter to our nation from 100 women of color leaders.
- Strategize: In January, over 4,000 LGBTQ people and others from many social justice movements will be coming together to attend our Creating Change Conference to strategize with each other on next steps for moving forward. We invite you to join us, share what you know and learn from others.
- Help: There are thousands of social justice organizations that have been and will be working together for an inclusive future of justice, equity and freedom for all. And, we’re all going to need your support. Make a gift to an organization you love that works for justice— and we hope you consider giving to the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund. We all need you to make a better future possible.
Most importantly, let’s hold each other close. Through our pain let our love shine brightly on one another. Let’s dust each other off and start our journey again…together.
Rea Carey, Executive Director
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund