It's a safe bet that the election of Donald Trump remains a vivid, nightmarish memory for all of us. More than three years later, our fears are realized — as president, Trump did not grow presidential; he perpetuated the hate and division of his campaign, banning trans people from the military, directing his Justice Department to defend anti-LGBTQ discrimination, demonizing Muslims and immigrants, limiting refugees, pushing forward with a nativist border wall, targeting women, allowing his agencies to discriminate against trans people, and literally working to erase us in the Census. This is on top of his disregard for the environment, his installation of dangerous, unqualified judges and justices, his compassion for corporations over working people, and the war games he so recklessly plays.
For us, though, there's a light at the end of this terrible tunnel: Elizabeth Warren.
The Democratic presidential candidate and current U.S. senator from Massachusetts is brilliant, energetic, accomplished, and uplifting. She has a plan to reverse Trump's crimes against America with policies that center average people, not billionaires hoping for another tax break. As a Harvard law professor, bankruptcy expert, and co-creator of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she has a deep understanding of our economy and the structural disadvantages for those not born into wealth. She knows the dangerous role social media can play in spreading lies and animosity, with plans to rein in the unfettered power of companies like Facebook. Warren will not shy away from our nation's epidemic of gun violence and proposes universal background checks, more licensing, and police reform. She believes health care is a human right and will work to ensure we all have coverage, so that medications like PrEP and mental health services are within reach of every LGBTQ person.
When it comes to her embrace of our community, Warren stands above her Democratic rivals in her consistent support and outreach; as a candidate, she has never made us feel like a novelty, burden, or afterthought. Warren's sweeping LGBTQ platform conveys a deep knowledge of our shared struggles. She pledges to lift the federal ban on blood donations by sexually active gay and bisexual men and to repeal laws that criminalize perceived, potential, or actual HIV exposure. She will not grant religious exemptions that allow employers or adoption agencies to discriminate against us, and advocates going even further: "I would fight to pass the Do No Harm Act to return the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to its original goal of protecting religious minorities and further clarify that this law can’t be used to harm LGBTQ+ people," her platform states.
Warren is well-versed in the LGBTQ issues that get scant attention by mainstream media, including youth homelessness, antiquated Transportation Security Administration screening procedures, citizenship discrimination against our children, the lack of governmental LGBTQ data collection, the effects of solitary confinement and mass incarceration on people of color and trans people, and the violence committed against our brothers, sisters, and siblings overseas.
At September's LGBTQ Presidential Forum, when Warren read out the names of all the trans people known to have been murdered in the U.S. in 2019, it wasn't just lip service. “I will create a new grant program within the Office of Violence Against Women that will specifically channel resources into organizations by and for transgender people, especially people of color,” the candidate proposes after her campaign’s numerous conversations with various Black trans women leaders.
Warren's outreach has resonated with many in our community — 31 percent of respondents to a recent YouGov/Out poll said they would vote for the senator in their state’s primary, 14 percentage points higher than any other candidate.
We hope Warren is our nominee for all the reasons listed above and also acknowledge she doesn't carry the baggage from previous elections and administrations that some of her fellow candidates do. In addition, she has the experience necessary to get right to work on her first day and the openness to evolve where she may fall short. That being said, we will support whoever the voters nominate to take on Trump; they are all monumentally better than the loathsome current president, including Pete Buttigieg, who is waging a historic campaign as an openly gay man.
Nevertheless, we believe it's Warren who has the best chance of excising Trump — by inspiring young people, other marginalized folks, and those anxiously awaiting our first female president. This country will long be sullied — maybe permanently — by Trump, but we believe it's Warren who can set us on a path toward healing and, then, progress.