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Thinking OUTloud

Former President Barack Obama once said, “In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another. We will not give in to fear or turn against each other. Instead, we will stand united as Americans to protect our people and defend our nation.” On June 12th, 2016, the LGBTQ community was tragically attacked resulting in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. A year later, we pause to remember the 49 victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub attack, as well as the 68 individuals who were injured. This June Pride month, we not only stand to honor who we are as a LGBTQ community, but pause to remember those injured and killed celebrating who they were as individuals.

For all of you who voted for this ‘Toddler in Chief’ who think you are supporting me in my relationship ... think twice. You’ve actually given me and all who are LGBTQ the clear message that you do not respect me.

So, read a Facebook post from a close friend this week, who’s lost patience for those who continue to hold that Donald Trump, while not openly a friend to the LGBTQ community, is not a menace. As we begin to revel in Gay Pride Month and celebrate in our communities, it is vital to dispel this myth, clearly and forcefully. Vague campaign promises to protect the gay community long since cast aside, the current occupier of the Oval Office in Washington is a purveyor of anti-gay pride, progress, priorities, and policy, and its high time we organize against his administration.

Kelsey Louie and I are standing outside the door of Larry Kramer’s apartment in New York City. Kelsey has already tried the bell and then, after a time, knocks twice. I have the sensation, one I have rarely experienced, of my heart pounding in my ears.

A couple of years ago, the author and director of the Academy Award-nominated How to Survive a Plague, David France, contacted me for his next project. We chatted a few times and then he arrived at my door with a complete film crew and research staff. He was going to spend the day filming me talking about my sister from Gay Liberation Front in New York, Marsha P. Johnson. Last week, France was kind enough to ask me to the Tribeca Film Festival for a showing of that film, now titled The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson.

Dissecting Trump’s Executive Order

It has certainly been a year of mind-bending presidential perversities. Donald Trump continued the farce in a morning Rose Garden ceremony last week to officially celebrate “National Prayer Day.” As a group of conservative religious leaders gathered to serve as his smug and satisfied background props, Trump triumphantly signed the “Religious Freedom” executive order of 2017. Even before the ink had dried, many in the LGBTQ community drew a sigh of relief that the order did not contain the same language as the discriminatory draft which had been widely leaked in the media back in February. Thankfully, it does not single out specific anti-LGBTQ protections for repeal. However, in a move which targets women in general and lower-income working women in particular, the order does open the door to allow companies to deny employees access to contraception – this is the name of granting “freedom” to religious people.

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