The Bay Area’s LGBT community joined thousands of other people in swift reaction to President-elect Donald Trump’s unexpected win on Election Day. Protests have taken place regularly over the past week, from school students marching out of class to thousands of people demonstrating in San Francisco and Oakland.
In the Castro, there was applause, cheers, and tears as activists and community members vowed to never go back to the days when LGBT people had no rights and were forced to live in the closet.
“We’re going to march in solidarity with workers and undocumented immigrants who are on the front lines of this nightmare,” activist Gregg Cassin told the crowd.
Longtime activist Cleve Jones took the microphone to address the crowd as the protesters waiting for the other group to arrive.
“We’re going to march to 24th and Mission to show solidarity with the immigrant community, which is in the most immediate danger from this assault,” Jones said as people applauded. “We have been thinking about this all day long. We’ve cried, some of you have prayed. We’re angry, we’re fearful â€” if you’re not fearful you’re not paying attention. And don’t tell me we got through Reagan and we got through Bush â€” too many of my brothers did not.”
Jones was referring to the inaction of the Reagan administration during the peak years of the AIDS epidemic, which decimated the gay community, and of the opposition to LGBT equality from Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
“We know what we’re up against,” Jones said. “And we know that the only way we will survive is if we stick together, love each other, respect each other, and have each other’s backs.”
by David-Elijah Nahmod for the BAR, Wednesday Nov 16, 2016