I remember where I was when then President-elect Biden was the first to mention gay and transgender people in his Presidential victory address. My wife and I looked at each other in disbelief. It was a bold way to show us that we matter.
Yesterday, we learned that this wasn’t an empty promise, when on his very first day in office, one of President Biden’s first executive orders was to apply all federal sex discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity. This is one of the most far-reaching orders by a President ever to support LGBTQ people. It has taken us decades to get here, and the protection this will give our communities in areas like employment, housing, and education will make the country safer for everyone.
And many of us saw ourselves represented when Kamala Harris become the first woman, the first Black and South Asian woman to be sworn in as Vice President of the United States. She reminded us what is possible. And her promise that she may be the first but won’t be the last gave me hope for all of us.
If we allow ourselves to get caught up in the historic nature of this moment, or how swiftly these executive orders were enacted, it can be easy to forget how scary the world was without them. And but for the courage and resistance of so many, it could have been even worse.
NCLR is proud to have done our part by challenging some of the most horrific and discriminatory laws and policies from the previous administration like the Transgender Military Ban, protecting LGBTQ young people from conversion therapy, winning health care for transgender prisoners, and defending the right of same-sex couples to equal housing.
Looking ahead, we are tasked with making this country work for more of us, and to be better than we’ve ever been. And we’re not where we want to be. The destruction and division in our country is deep and it will not be undone overnight. We deserve better, and we have a long way to go. But yesterday was a welcome start. NCLR looks forward to working with this administration, this Congress, and all of you to make this country closer to who we want to be.