With the inauguration, this Friday, I still find it impossible to believe that a man so petty, vindictive and downright obnoxious will occupy the Oval Office and serve as President of the United States.
This man campaigned, and won, on a platform that trumpeted anti-immigrant sentiment and capitalized on xenophobia and Islamaphobia.
Trump enriched himself on the backs of the hard-working Americans, and with mounting business conflicts as President, he will continue to do so.
We’ve achieved so much progress over the past eight years and many of those victories will likely be rolled back. And these giant steps backward will not only come from Trump, but from his anti-LGBT cabinet and the Republican-led Congress.
It is an Axis of Evil, determined to deny fundamental human rights to Americans, and to people around the globe.
Some of the worst things that I predict we will lose or will happen under Trump:
- Elimination of health care for 20 million Americans, many of whom have HIV/AIDS, are young people, elderly, or poor.
- Promotion of conversation therapy by the U.S. Department of Education.
- A US Supreme Court nominee who vows to overturn same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to control her own body.
- Rollback in decisions that recognize transgender discrimination as illegal sex discrimination under the Civil Rights Act.
- Investigation of undocumented young people who signed up for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
- A Muslim registry.
- Increased government surveillance and profiling based on race, ethnicity, religion, language, sexual orientation, or gender identity in immigration enforcement.
- Inhumane detentions and deportations that tear families apart.
- Abstinence only-HIV prevention and sex education.
- Elimination of the US’s promotion and support of LGBT rights around the world.
- Tax cuts for major corporations and the rich.
- Environmental degradation, increased global warming, dirty water, polluted air.
I can go on but it’s too painful and too scary.
But we cannot despair. We must organize and hold Donald Trump and Congressional leaders accountable, even in the face of tremendous opposition. I know that there will be severe losses. Yet we must do everything we can to slow those losses. We must resist.
We must step out of our comfort zone
Proven tactics, albeit old fashioned ones, like writing letters to elected official and signing postcards must be revitalized.
Social media organizing must break out of its echo chamber of like-minded individuals. We must go beyond our familiar networks, reach further than our base, and step out of our comfort zones.
The LGBTQ community must come together. We have fought for so much over the past 50 years.
We fought against police raids and police harassment. We fought for healthcare and abortion rights. We fought against hate crimes and got legal protections passed. We won marriage equality. We continue our fight for protections for transgender people.
And now we must remain vigilant and be ready to react and resist — or, Trump’s Axis of Evil will undo all that the LGBTQ movement has achieved.
NQAPIA will speak out against bias
Resisting Trump means working closely with our allies in others movements. Resisting means supporting Black Lives Matter. We must rekindle the alliance with the reproductive rights and Feminist Movements. We must speak out for immigrants and Muslims. There is great strength in numbers.
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance provides a new model of this strength by organizing at the intersection of queerness, racial justice, gender justice, and immigrants’ rights.
NQAPIA will speak out against bias, fight against curtailments to our rights, and continue to tell our stories to change hearts and minds, one person at a time.
At NQAPIA we believe that through advocacy, organizing, and telling our stories, we can build a new generation of leaders and a more diverse face of our movement.
By building a vibrant network of local activists, we will advance the rights and dignity of immigrants, promote racial justice and foster LGBTQ acceptance among families. The result will be that more LGBTQ people will be able to live more authentic lives, without fear of reprisal.
While Trump’s Axis of Evil plots to destroy our progress, our capacity for compassion, our dedication to hard-work, and the financial support of so many donors will help us and our allies to resist the onslaught and mitigate the losses.
Glenn D. Magpantay is the Executive Director of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance. NQAPIA is a federation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander organizations. Follow Glenn and NQAPIA at twitter.com/nqapia