As PGN goes to press, it has been 421 days since the 2016 presidential election. Members of the LGBT community and other marginalized groups remember the day after with dread. We cried many tears, shook our fists with anger and leaned on loved ones to get through the beginning of what was sure to be a challenging four years.
That day, this headline read, “What the fuck,” which perfectly illustrated how we were feeling in that moment. The piece included a sense of hope that we will overcome this. However, the last five words took note of what we were feeling in that specific moment: “But for now, it sucks.”
And things have sucked and continued to suck for the past 421 days.
Last week, President Donald Trump fired the remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. This occurred after the mass resignation of half of the council’s members in June as they protested the administration’s position on health policy.
The president’s abrupt dismissal of this key group paints a clear message: He has no desire to improve our everyday lives. This was further illustrated weeks earlier with the introduction of his new tax plan, which is set to be a devastating loss for the middle class and a win for the rich.
But there’s one thing that we can’t forget: We survived 100 percent of these days. We kicked and screamed, but we survived.
Last summer, Trump unveiled his intent to ban all transgender people from joining the military. But we pushed back … hard. And just last week, the Department of Justice put the proposed ban on hold.
We did not have much hope when we kicked off 2017. But we’re starting off 2018 with something we didn’t have before: experiences. We have made it this far and we will continue fighting for what is ours.
That piece published after Election Day noted the historical resilience of marginalized communities such as ours, adding, “We will overcome this.”
And for the past 421 days, we have. And we will continue to do so.