These days, it’s hard not to have politics on your mind. Politico writer, Kevin Baker said it best. “Today, in the Age of Trump, all is politics.” That is especially the case for minority groups, who don’t exactly feel safe under this new administration.
For the LGBTQ community, the current political climate has in many ways removed protection and left them feeling vulnerable. We reached out to five Latinas who identify as queer and expressed their concerns about living in Trump’s America and what they’re doing to fight it.
Full Name: Cynthia Jeanette Ruiz
Resides: Denver, Colorado
Occupation: Staffing Coordinator
On her thoughts regarding the Trump administration’s approach to LGBTQ rights: “Being a queer Latina in Trump’s America means I alternate between feeling terrified, offended, alarmed, and disgusted. Trump chose the biggest threat to the LGBTQ community with his vice president [Mike Pence]. I really fear all progress is going to diminish. It’s only a matter of time.”
On the importance of not letting the administration affect gay pride: “Pride is rooted in oppression, least we forget. The only reason some of us queers have rights is because we have viciously and tirelessly fought for them. While I’m thankful I can now marry the woman I’m in love with, I won’t stop fighting for equality until my trans brothers and sisters are protected under the law too. We still have a long way to go. Celebrating pride is an affirmation of how far we have come as a community, and how far we still have to go until we are all protected.”
On standing as a united community to stir change. “History has shown that oppressors gain power by dividing us. Martin Niemoller’s famous quote explains it perfectly. ‘First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.’ That quote still catches me off guard, no matter how familiar I am with it. Its simplicity and its truth are what I find most jarring, as it’s a perfect representation of what Trump’s administration is doing on a large scale. First, they attacked Mexicans, then Muslims, then refugees, then women, and now LGBTQ folks. If we don’t stick together, they will defeat us, but together – we are unstoppable.”