A new year has begun. 2021 kicked off four days ago with the entire world hoping that things will be much different compared to all the ridiculousness we had to endure over the past several months.
2020 was an unexpected year with more twists and turns than a scary rollercoaster ride. COVID-19 defined most of it as something that began somewhat quietly which eventually took over our lives and shifted it in ways we have never dealt with before.
At the same time, we did experience some wonderful moments that left us blissfully happy. Joe Biden defeating Donald Trump was something unbelievably monumental and a huge sigh of relief for many, including the LGBTQ community, who had to suffer through 4 years of Trump’s endless BS and targets towards us.
In a matter of weeks, Trump will be out of office and a new administration, which has already hired a ton of LGBTQ people in crucial positions, will begin. Not only that, but we have many other things to look forward to — now that a new year has begun. Take a look at five things I’m hopeful will happen for and with our community in 2021 and beyond:
Support Our Gay Bars
2020 forced many iconic gay bars across the world to shut down permanently due to the unforeseen circumstances this pandemic has caused. Many GoFundMe pages have been created just to keep them open over the next couple of months, which was something that more than likely wouldn’t have happened a year ago as many of these spaces were beyond thriving even in the freezing cold.
If you have a local bar that is struggling, help them out. Raise money, donate, do whatever you can in order to keep them open. My hope is that they will be beyond successful all over again once COVID is said and done but it’s up to us to make that happen in the interim.
Keep Fighting The Good Fight
Just because we are about to embark on a very pro-LGBTQ administration doesn’t mean the battle is over. Not by a longshot. We need to continue fighting the good fight for our rights on a local, national and international level with the idea that we will be treated equally amongst all others at some point in the near future.
More LGBTQ Representatives
2020 saw so many LGBTQ people being elected to powerful political positions. First openly-gay presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, won the Iowa caucus while Sarah McBride became the first out transgender person ever elected to a state senate seat in the United States. Here’s hoping we see more of these incredible victories this year from our fabulous brethren.
Continue Our Kindness Towards One Another
Shade is fun, sure, as long as it’s done in a playful manner. But it’s important for us to be there for each other in this ever-growing community especially with the mental health problems that COVID has caused. If someone reaches out to you with a problem, be there for them.
There also might be an opportunity that presents itself regarding someone you know who wants to come out but is afraid to do so. Listen, give them advice, and help them understand that they’ll have people who genuinely love them as a support system when and if they decide to do so.
Smile. Simply Smile.
This goes beyond our community as a vital piece of advice to anyone today: find your happy. 2020 crushed our spirits in many ways but we are still here, still present, and still ready for what’s to come. Make sure that you do something every day that will put a big smile on your face as we continue to conquer COVID. In doing so you’ll see things on a much more positive level… and who doesn’t want that?
About the Author:
Ryan Shea is an established writer who has contributed thought-provoking pieces for many different industries. He has worked for major publications including Newsday, Hollywood Life, Instinct Magazine and The Ladders.