By Leea Pronovost
Even after what happened at the Capital Building with the (let’s call it what it really was) a coup attempt, I am still very hopeful with the incoming administration. I say this with much trepidation and caution after what has transpired. Even if they manage to weed out the group of people whom helped to inspire, or participated in, or even were complicit in those events on January 6th, we will still need to show great caution in order to prevent this from continuing to be the America in which we all live in. What I will say about this is we need to continue to fight the factions within our own government that allowed this to happen if our democracy is going to continue to exist and be a model for the entire democratic world. This is something we must root out of the system for good. We have tried to do so since the civil war and have allowed it creep back into existence. I could write an entire blog just about this however I’m not here to write about that particular battle, for democracy itself, I’m here to write about the hope this new administration will bring to the entire LGBTQ+ community and in particular the Transgender community.
The Biden Administration is, according to most of his advocates, set to become the most LGBTQ+ friendly administration by not only reversing what the Trump Administration has done by rescinding and reducing LGBTQ rights. For more on what Trump and his administration has done here is a link to GLAAD’s list of things the Trump administration has done against the LGBTQ+ community: https://www.glaad.org/gap/donald-trump . Biden may just be the most LGBTQ+ friendly President in the history of the US, however, in order to combat this a lot of individual states have attacked the transgender community, by way of attacking transgender youth in regards to sports. Here is a list of the states that have hate bills against transgender people. https://freedomforallamericans.org/legislative-tracker/ . Here is my take on this, I believe that since we now have a president that is pro equality, there is going to be a lot backlash from the ultra-conservative organizations. There has been a lot of talk of this current attack on Transgender people and in particular the attack on trans athletes. I also want to state here for the record especially when it comes to the sports thing, what we need to do is protect the women from sexual predators. When I say this there was the case of the Olympic Gymnastics coach who just committed suicide and was a good friend of the doctor for the team whom is serving time for molesting girls as young as 13 years old. That’s who we need to protect our women in sports from not transgender women. From what I have gathered, and what I read it is one particular organization’s concerted effort to further their effort of LGBTQ+ exclusion. I have heard in a few different articles proving that this one organization is responsible for the hate. The organization behind all the individual attacks is the Alliance Defending Freedom. If you do not know who they are you should do some research, especially if you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, as they are one of several hate groups that would try to eradicate the entire LGBTQ+ community once and for all. They fight against us filing lawsuits all over the world not just here in the US.
Biden has the chance to actually sign a historical bill should the Senate pass the Equality Act https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5/text as the House of Representatives has passed the bill, just two weeks ago. He has already reversed a lot of the damage the Trump administration has done over the past four years, including the Transgender Ban of serving in the armed services. One would think that this bill would be a given with the fact that the Democrats actually have the majority in the House, the Senate and the White House, but this is not the case as the Senate Republicans could stop the bill with a filibuster and then we would need a minimum vote of 60 Senators to stop the filibuster, so this bill could still die in the Senate.
This administration not only has the chance to sign that bill but also has a chance to be the most diversified cabinet in the history of presidential administrations. He has nominated Pete Buttigieg to Transportation Secretary, whom was just recently confirmed. He has nominated Dr. Rachel Levine to be the assistant head of the Health and Human Service, this would make her the first transgender woman to ever hold a cabinet position. He has nominated more women than any other president in our history, on top of that adding Deb Haaland as the Interior Secretary, imagine someone who actually cares about the land being the person appointed to the position of protecting it. We truly are on the verge of making history.
We really do need to pass the Equality Act and also the newest bill from the house H.R. 1 “For the People Act of 2021”, in case you are not aware of this new bill here it is https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/1/text this would protect our democracy from a lot of the laws that Republican states are now trying to pass as a result of losing the 2020 election. In case you have not seen or heard of it yet they are really trying to make it harder for anyone to vote and placing all kinds of limitations onto mail, absentee, and early voting restrictions. Even Mitch McConnell has called H.R. 1 a socialist bill and that it would bring in a new wave of socialism to the USA. It seems that he forgets even though we are a Republic, we are also a Democracy and that a Democracy is built upon free and open voting system for all its citizen. This Administration has the path and needs to take advantage of the current situation in order to not only secure the longevity of our Democracy but also make it actually true that we continue the process in the belief that all people are created equal, by ensuring that even religion cannot discriminate because of their belief. My belief in religious freedom is that you have the right to your belief system no mater, what religion it is and not be discriminated upon, religious freedom doesn’t give you the right to discriminate against those that do not conform to your beliefs.
So, in closing I would have to say I have hope in this administration to do their jobs and do so with empathy for all people not just a select white privileged few, like what has been happening for the past 4 years under the other administration within the White House.