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An Open Letter: 'We Can't Lose Hope'

The following is a Facebook post shared on Friday, June 12, by Yngrid Winter, a former member of the Shreveport community. With her permission, we asked to share on our platform (unaltered). Content warning: This is in response to the Pulse night club shooting anniversary and Friday's news from the Trump administration concerning the removal of nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people when it comes to health care and health insurance:

I have something that needs to be said. This is for LGBTQ+ folk, those still in the closet, and our allies. If you know someone who needs to read this, please share it. This is important.

For those of you who don't know me, hi! My name is Yngrid, I'm a 31 year old white trans woman, I use she/her pronouns, and identify as lesbian.

Today is a sad day for the queer community, for a couple of reasons. Not only is this the four year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, where 49 of our siblings were senselessly massacred by a cowardly gunman, but today the Trump administration announced a decision to remove LGBTQ+ protection from discrimination under the Affordable Care Act. Essentially, this means that in August it will be legal for healthcare workers to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people on the basis of their gender identity and/or sexual orientation. It also removes discrimination protection for those seeking abortion. This is terrifying for reasons too numerous to list. This will kill people. This could kill me, this could kill you. In short, it's completely fucked up, pardon my French.

On a personal level, I'm scared. I'm exhausted. I don't know if I'll survive another four years of Trump. I may lose loved ones because of his regime's hate for people like me. But I refuse to give up. Fuck that.

This may cause some of you to stay in the closet. Hell, it may make some of you want to go running back into it. But don't. We can't lose hope. To loosely quote the book that is so often used against us, "Be not afraid." We're not in this fight alone, we have allies everywhere, and this is when we'll need them the most. Yes, that means you, ally reading this. And this isn't the only fight we must fight.

The same people that wish us harm are the ones committing atrocities against BIPOC communities. They cage and abuse "illegal" immigrants at our southern border. They murder black men, women, and children with little repercussions. They seek to keep Muslim people out of our country. They continue to destroy and steal Native land. They find any way they can to discriminate against someone who isn't a straight white Christian. They engage in a war against poor people and women's rights. I could continue to list the many other atrocities they commit, but we all know who they are. Their evil knows no bounds.

This is a war on multiple fronts. Some of you reading this belong to multiple groups mentioned, such as being gay and black. The fight for you is especially strenuous, and I'm sorry. That's why we have to support each other. If you're white and queer, exercise the privilege you have to fight for a safer world for BIPOC. If you're in the closet, now is the time to fight with us. Don't worry, we'll protect you the best we can. Straight white allies, we all need you the most. Don't quit on us. Don't quit on the BIPOC communities.

We. Need. You.

Love wins. We must be stronger than the hate we face. Take care of yourself, but also take care of others. We're all in this together.

Sign petitions. Donate. Protest. March. Educate. Learn. Read. Watch. Listen. Love.


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