Just minutes after Donald Trump was sworn into office, the pages dedicated to LGBTQ rights, civil rights, climate change, women, and immigration were removed from WhiteHouse.gov.
While this move only confirmed what we already assumed about this administration, it didn’t make watching our lives being erased any easier. And it wasn’t any easier watching him sign an executive order that will scale back huge portions of the Affordable Care Act, an action that will likely leave millions of people without healthcare, including many in the LGBTQ community. And it hasn’t got any easier today after he announced he will approve building a wall on our border and block the number of refugees who can resettle in this country, putting the lives of many at risk.
Seeing all of this happen shortly after President Trump took office makes the worries we held loom that much heavier.
But this weekend, we also saw people turn out in the millions to support a different vision for our world: a vision in which our lives and our movements are inextricably linked—one where true justice can only exist if it is for everyone.
The solidarity we saw on Saturday during the largest collective day of protests in our country’s history, demonstrates the depth of the sacrifice and commitment so many are willing to make to achieve the true promise of our democracy.
We have demanding days ahead. We will vigilantly have to find ways to continue standing together and protecting one another in the coming days, months, and years.
One of Pride Foundation’s immediate next steps is to create a Rapid Response Fund. This Fund will enable us to make quick and timely grants to groups and organizations on the ground that are stepping up as needs emerge in their communities across the Northwest. The Fund will be directed toward projects that include: organizing in response to incidents of hate and violence, offering legal and “know-your-rights” clinics for transgender people and LGBTQ immigrants, creating safety planning for movement leaders, and providing mental health and other services for LGBTQ people in crisis.
As this project gets underway, there are ways you can get engaged right now to ensure that we sustain the momentum from this past weekend:
- Give voice to your concerns and contact your legislators.
- Volunteer with a Pride Foundation grantee that’s working for change in your area.
- Make a donation. Support local changemakers and advocates across the region. Sign up for monthly giving and support LGBTQ leaders and communities all year long!
- Share your ideas for getting engaged and taking action on Pride Foundation’s Facebook page.
Thank you for your commitment and compassion.
It is so important that we not forget the danger of being invisible or silent in such a moment. As millions of people who marched toward a better world declared on Saturday: We will not go away.
Kris Hermanns is Pride Foundation’s CEO. Email Kris.