By JOSEPH McCOMBS
The November election of Donald Trump, and his ensuing dizzying daily displays of poorly considered cabinet appointments, ill-thought tweets, and brazen dishonesty and ineptitude, have had at least one beneficial effect: they’ve mobilized the LGBT and other communities to action in remarkable ways.
New York City council member Corey Johnson seized on this growing energy and was key in organizing a Solidarity Rally on Saturday, Feb. 4, in front of the legendary Stonewall Inn, where a diverse coalition of groups and activists came together to decry Trump’s restrictions on travel from seven majority-Muslim nations. “LGBTQ people have been fighting oppression for time immemorial,” Johnson told The Villager, “so, when we see an administration come after vulnerable communities, we feel it deeply and personally. We are declaring with one voice that we are in this together.”
Among the thousands of attendees were numerous political leaders, including U.S. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer; the occasional celebrity (hi, Cynthia Nixon!); and such activist groups as Gays Against Guns, which drew an important connection between LGBT and immigrant issues, declaring on its site that “the immigration ban is just an issue being used by Republicans to take advantage of the predisposition of humans to fear and hate the ‘other.’ ”
Expect more such rallies as communities continue to collaborate and organize in the face of this destructive administration. As GLAAD vice president of programs Zeke Stokes told ABC7 News, “This is an unpredictable White House that makes very erratic policy decisions and reacts to what’s happening in the media in a really non-traditional way, so we have to be out in front of these fights. We have to be out in front of them early.”