Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How the LGBTQ community can watch its own back and even win in the Trump era

On this third anniversary of the day marriage equality became legal, I have one message for the LGBTQ community. We need to watch our backs. It's an entirely new environment and after what happened today at SCOTUS, we need not leave anything to chance.

 A court which will justify a prejudiced ban created by religious xenophobia and will allow health centers to deliberately give women inaccurate health information under the guise of "free speech" can curtail marriage equality and LGBTQ equality in general if given the chance. Unlike the cases involving the Muslim ban and false pregnancy centers, we came out of our bout with SCOTUS with our freedom barely intact (i.e. the Masterpiece case). It was like a one-handed Hail Mary touchdown catch  with one foot inside the field of play in the last seconds of the Superbowl. But those who want to take away what is ours are empowered and will continue to be.

What I suggest is simple. Empower yourselves and each other. If you aren't a transgender man or woman, educate yourself on the community. Listen to what is being said before talking. If you are not bisexual, do the same regarding that community. Whoever you aren't in the LGBTQ and ally community, educate yourself on them. Listen to what they have to say. Learn about their struggles, their hopes, their dreams, and their fears.  Understand before passing judgement. Take in mentally before reacting verbally. Build trust with each other.

Organize. Vote. Run for office. Don't be afraid of pragmatism. Keep in mind that everything is always a process. Don't get discouraged of not winning one battle. It will revisit you. Take your time. Enjoy planning slowly and deliberately. And above all, be petty to the groups and personalities trying to take away what you earned under the guise of religion, etc. Dialogue if you must, but never trust. Be selfish when dealing with them. Never let them control the terms of battle or the narrative. At the very least, break through the subterfuge they constantly put up. Don't be afraid to call bullshit what it is. Have your own goals in mind when dealing with them in any form. Accomplish your goals. Hold on to what you have. Take more of what you deserve.

Always remember that no matter what, your life has value and you are worthy of every good thing this world has to offer. Give courtesy where it can be given, but never take disrespect. Never allow your life to be decided by someone's religion or idea of tolerance.  If you can only do one thing I suggested in this piece, please let it be never forgetting your value or worth.

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