An Open Letter on Last Night's Presidential Election
Dear GLSEN family,
I won’t try to sugarcoat this: what happened yesterday is not ok. LGBTQ youth face losing the federal civil rights protections provided by the Obama administration, like the Title IX guidance. Any hope of passing federal LGBTQ-inclusive legislation in the next few years is gone. And our Supreme Court may well be packed with justices who will challenge our work to create LGBTQ-inclusive schools for decades to come.
While we can’t go back and change the outcome of this election, we will not sit silently by and watch the progress we’ve made on LGBTQ issues be destroyed.
We have seen tremendous progress in recent years, such as California’s passage of legislation requiring LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum and Michigan’s guidelines for transgender-inclusive accommodations in all schools. We have seen district and school leaders in Tennessee and Kentucky stand up for all students, even in a hostile political climate. And we have raised the profile of LGBTQ issues in education.
We have certainly hit a roadblock, but our momentum will not be stopped. And the momentum we’ve seen is because of you. It’s because of local communities, school districts, and state coalitions coming together to demand change. We must renew our support for local organizing, advocacy, and progress, even in the face of stronger political opposition and the loss of civil rights champions at the federal level.
Today, LGBTQ students across the country return to classes with a bully elected President, and educators will resume the difficult task of supporting them and ensuring future generations don’t make these same mistakes. As we face newly empowered opposition, your partnership has never been more important.
Thank you for continuing to work with GLSEN as allies in our mission to create a world in which diversity is valued and celebrated. Together, we are part of a national movement to support and affirm every person in every K-12 school. We must come together, support one another, show up for one another, and speak out for one another.
William Sloan Coffin said it best: "The world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but love." We will fight for the truth together. We will love one another to share our strength. And an army of lovers shall not fail.
Eliza Byard Executive Director