Dear Wyoming Equality Community,
The dust hasn’t settled on the election, and many of us are left wondering, what does this mean for us in Wyoming? It means that we check in with each other, we give tight hugs, or we give each other space until we’re ready to come back together and plan the next steps. At Wyoming Equality, we want you to know that we see you, we hear you, and we are here for you.
There is no soft-pedaling that the results of the election will have lasting consequences for the LGBTQ community of Wyoming.
We at Wyoming Equality don’t say this because we have differing views than the president-elect on major policy questions; we acknowledge that members of our community have a diverse range of views on key policy matters.
This election was so devastating because we have elected to the presidency a man who has publicly targeted immigrants, children and grandchildren of immigrants, Muslims, the disabled, women, and many others. Last night was so devastating because we have elected to the vice presidency a man who served as a key architect in an attempt to legalize religious discrimination against the LGBTQ community in every facet of our public lives. And even more alarming, these candidates, now our president-elect and vice president-elect, have whipped up and legitimized a fear-based worldview that pits a large base of Americans against many historically marginalized groups in our country.
The cornerstone of our evolving equality and liberty as an LGBTQ community is the broad belief that we as a country are better off when we expand notions of basic fairness and decent treatment to those whose identities differ from our own. That belief has been under attack this election season, and last night, it lost.
Still, we know that our country is stronger than any one campaign or even any one presidency. We believe deeply in the American people and our democratic institutions. Even though we are alarmed today, we acknowledge that as of the writing of this letter, more Americans voted for a message of inclusion and strength in diversity.
Now is the time to deepen our commitment to building bridges, not putting up walls. We call on all of our LGBTQ stakeholders and allies to take two actions today in support of a brighter, more equal America.
First, we in the LGBTQ community know that if we do not stand up for other historically marginalized groups when they are attacked, we will have no one left to stand up for us when we are attacked. That is why we are calling on our champions and allies to publicly and proudly support groups most under attack. We are stronger together. If you would like help organizing a coalition in your town, please call our education and outreach coordinator, Sara Burlingame.
And finally, we believe that love always wins. It isn’t just a slogan; it is a statement of faith and conviction. Now is the time to become a member of Wyoming Equality. Now, more than ever, we need you to stand with us as we fight for our rights. And you need to know that you CAN make a difference, and the forces of exclusion and violence will not win. Whatever you can afford to give, please give today. Together, we will create a history that we can look back on with pride. We will persevere together.
John King, Chair
Jesse Weber, Co-Chair
Mike Bleakley, Treasurer
Kenneth Allen, Secretary
Jeran Artery, Board
Shayna Alexander, Board
Nicholas Jesse, Board
Melanie Vigil, Board
Nicole Melville, Board
Sara Burlingame, Education and Outreach Coordinator
Erin Clingman, Office Manager
Stephanie Fryman, Bookkeeper