Election Day has come and gone and we still don’t know who the next President of the United States will be. But between you and me, I think it’ll be Joe Biden.
We’re in the final steps of this race, democratic mail-in ballots surging in for the win in yet-undecided Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina.
I can’t wait for an administration that respects the LGBTQ+ community to take the lead.
Throughout the presidential campaign, it’s become more and more popular to compare Joe Biden and Donald Trump as quasi-equals.
The group Settle for Biden, a grassroots organization of former Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders supporters throwing their weight behind the Democratic candidate, has racked up nearly 300,000 followers on Instagram. Although I don’t have exact numbers for you, I can say I’d need more than the fingers on my two hands to count the number of “lesser of two evils” posts I’ve seen on social media.
While I think Settle for Biden is actually kind of hilarious (not to mention a genius tagline to persuade progressive voters), I think it’s fair to say that we’ve lost a little bit of perspective here.
Biden and Trump are not equals — quasi or otherwise.
There are more than enough policy and character issues we can use as examples to compare here, but for now, I’m here to address the queer community in particular.
Trump has been a horrific blight of a president for the queer community.
Trump has, in the past, openly stated that he does not support marriage equality, he has voiced his support for North Carolina’s House Bill 2 (legislation seeking to block transgender students from accessing restrooms that match their gender identity), and he has rolled back protections against discrimination in health care for transgender patients — on the four-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, no less.
He has also taken under his White House wings numerous enemies of LGBTQ+ rights, including his own Vice President, known homophobe Mike Pence. If you think ‘homophobe’ is too strong of a word then let me know what word I should use in its place to describe a man that at one point defended his oppositional stance on gay marriage as a means to avoid “societal collapse”.
These are just a few of the many, many things Trump and his administration have done to backhand the queer community. If it weren’t for organizations like GLAAD keeping a detailed record of all the Trump administration's heinous actions, I don’t know how we’d keep track — thank god somebody came to work today.
When we’re faced with so much opposition and hate, day-in and day-out, we also face the danger of normalizing that struggle.
— making an everyday fight for the preservation of our rights against the leading body of this country out to be “just the way things are”.
But that’s not true. Things don’t have to be this way.
Biden has a plan to advance LGBTQ+ rights.
While I can’t believe that I’m even able to say this, that’s already a huge step in the right direction from the Trump administration. As far as I can tell, they don’t even have a plan — and why would they, given their track record? Even entertaining the idea of a plan to advance LGBTQ+ rights and protections would be a move against all the work the current administration has done to undo those rights and protections.
Biden’s plan includes the signing of the Equality Act in his first 100 days in office, which according to the Human Rights Campaign, “would provide consistent and explicit anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.”
(Just for the record, Trump officially declared his opposition to the Equality Act in 2019, according to GLAAD’s diligent score-keeping.)
The future is queer. We’re about to get a president dedicated to turning the clock forward, not backward.
I, for one, will happily “Settle for Biden” if it means getting a president in the Oval Office that not only respects but takes actionable steps to improve the rights of the queer people in this country and beyond.
If “settling” is defined as moving away from a White House crawling with homophobic representatives and pumping out anti-queer legislation, then count me settled. If you have a queer person in your life, if you have any love for them at all, I hope you settled with me.
Quite literally crossing every appendage on my body today. Here’s to the next four years bringing us closer to our queer future.