Mark My Words

Mark Segal, PGN publisher, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. You can follow him on Facebook at or Twitter at

The last couple weeks have saddened those of us who love the freedoms this country offers and who have tried over the last few decades to make those freedoms inclusive — but there is a silver lining. Masses of people are taking up this cause of resistance and are willing to go out and show their support to stop any incursions to democracy.

And they almost have it right. 

Any presidency is ranked by the prosperity it brings to the country, which allows the living standard of its citizens to improve. That is the promise that Donald Trump and almost all politicians run on: improving life for the American middle class.

When corporations discriminate or hold positions that will hurt employees or the environment, at times a boycott is called for. Well, it seems that Trump’s Muslim travel ban has in itself handed us the way to force his hand. 

While recent demonstrations have given us hope, we must now use future demonstrations to bring change. Simply put, they must be targeted. Targeted nonviolent protests sometimes cause inconvenience, but that inconvenience is what causes the change. Luckily those who demonstrated last week got it right: airports. 

Airports have become a major economic hub of this nation. Here’s what the federal government, through the Federal Aviation Administration, states on the subject:

“Aviation-related manufacturing output for the entire United States increased 15.5 percent in real terms between 2009 and 2012, from $217.2 billion to $250.9 billion.”

That was in 2012, and just domestic. Bring it up to date and add in the international economic impact and the numbers are staggering. This from the JFK Airport’s own report:

“Employment and economic impact: About 37,000 people are employed at JFK. The airport contributes about $37.3 billion in economic activity to the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region, generating about 256,000 total jobs and $13.4 billion in annual wages and salaries.”

This is only a possible suggestion from an old activist …

Mark Segal is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. His recently published memoir, “And Then I Danced,” is available on, Barnes & Noble or at your favorite bookseller.

Last night I watched the HBO documentary on the relationship between Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” saga. The film, “Bright Lights,” is a wonderful trip through Hollywood and sort of a “Grey Gardens Goes Hollywood.” The living conditions, like in “Grey Gardens,” are unique but it’s the conditions of both the main characters and those they touch that brings you to the point where you’re asking yourself, "What world are these delightful people living in?" 

There is no other U.S. president who can stand even close to the legacy of President Barack Obama on LGBT issues. In fact, you could stack all the LGBT gains accumulated from every president before Obama together and they wouldn’t come close to those made during his administration. No one column could simply list all his achievements on behalf of the LGBT community but there is one that most of our community, seems to be blind to: Thanks to President Obama, it became cool to support LGBT equality.

This week, you witnessed what in all reality is the only lifeline you’ll have during a Trump presidency. And it’s the one many of you have been griping about for some time, with some reason. Let’s take a walk down Trump memory lane. 

We’ve reach that time of year when we look back, take stock of the year and begin to think about what will be in the New Year. This year, that is somewhat clouded and overshadowed — as is everything at this point — by the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States of America. 


OK, enough moaning over the election already. It’s the holiday season and nothing will really change for another few weeks, so let’s take this last Trump-less holiday season to do what has become the custom: celebrate our friends, family and those who give their time each year to make our young community a better place in which to live. There will be plenty of time to not moan but to take action in just a few weeks.

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