Saturday, November 7th was a historic day for millions of people across the world when it was announced that Joe Biden had become our president elect after beating current POTUS Donald Trump.
We were also in a state of pure joy and happiness due to Kamala Harris becoming our first female Vice President ever (not to mention first Black VP and first South Asian VP). It was the first time many of us felt hope after a four-year nightmare that looked like it was never going to end.
Well, it has, or it will in a short period of time when Biden is expected to be sworn in on January 20, 2021. So what does this mean for the LGBTQ community with him and Harris coming into power? Will we expect the same great treatment we had when Barack Obama was in office?
We spoke with BBC and NPR Political Analyst Drexel Heard about all of this. Drexel’s experience in this field is fabulous to say the least as he’s previously worked on Obama’s Presidential campaign not to mention him being the youngest Black Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. Plus he’s gay and cute to boot.
Check out our exclusive with him below.
Where were you when the news outlets projected that Biden & Harris won and how did it feel to hear the news?
I’m in Los Angeles, so I was just waking up to the new when it hit around 10:00 that Saturday. I was pretty confident all week that President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris were going to win, to the point where people were like “how can you be so sure?”. The numbers were always on their/our side, so hearing confirmation that morning was just icing on the cake of a long week. It also was, as I’m sure for most people, a huge sigh of relief felt across nation.
Did your mindset continually change in the days leading up to it? It seemed as if Trump was going to be the winner on election night before the tides turned blue.
I told people pretty much in the days leading up to the election, up to the day before that I was sure we were going to win. The only thing that lingered in the back of my mind was the legal challenges, and any potential Supreme Court fight, that could alter the people’s vote and choice. Joe is 5 million votes ahead of Donald Trump. The people spoke in 2016, and the people spoke in 2020. This time, the electoral college couldn’t save Trump.
Now that Biden and Harris have won what do you think will happen for the LGBTQ community?
Well, we’ve still got a lot of work to do to ensure equality for all, and that’s starting with passing the Equality Act. If and when we win Georgia, I’m confident that a Democratic House and Senate will pass that within the first few months. We’re also going to see more LGBTQ representation in the Biden/Harris Administration. Just last week, transgender veteran Shawn Kelly joined the Biden Transition Team, who is back from having served in the Obama Administration. I also hope this serves as a launching pad for more LGBTQ candidates to step up and run in communities all across the country, starting with a win from my dear friend Marti Gould Cummings for New York City Council.
Do you think they will be as supportive as Obama was during his presidency for us?
In 2012 Joe Biden made clear his position on LGBTQ issues, particularly marriage equality pushing the Obama Administration to respond accordingly, and Kamala Harris has been consistent on her support and pushing and defending the issues that matter for our community. So, unequivocally yes.
Trump and his administration negatively impacted our community so much that it has left many of us still worried about our future. What is the best advice to give to those who think that things will still be equally problematic in the months to come?
I’d say, we’ve been through worse and we always come out stronger on the other side with a coalition aimed at ensuring equal protection under the law. To those that are worried, I’d also say…let’s give THEM something to worry about, keeping the pressure on Electeds to fight for what’s right, challenging them at the ballot box, and making sure the LGBTQ people are at every table. If you’re worried, that means we fight harder together.
Finally where do you stand right now in terms of being hopeful for our community?
I’m always hopeful for our future, encouraged by watching so many young people come out earlier, and looking forward to fighting alongside every person until we eradicate hate and bigotry. Life and progress comes at you fast…and for some people, it’s coming really quick and they better buckle up.
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.