Despair, sadness, and shock are what so many of us are feeling this morning.

How did our country, even with all its faults, elect a new leader that has campaigned with such total disregard for so many that make up the fabric of our nation? For so many of us who represent the breadth of differences that strengthen the country — our LGBTQ families and friends; the differently-abled; racial, ethnic, and religious minorities; and all women — today is a hard day. We need to acknowledge the profound kick in the gut we all feel and then, as we have always done, we will continue with more fervor than ever, persevere in our work to challenge discrimination and promote equality for all.

In Washington State we still have a lot going for us. We have an amazing network of organizations that provide us with care and safety. We have elected leaders on the city, state and federal levels who will fight harder than ever for all of us. Yesterday we re-elected and elected decent, principled people to represent us and we successfully passed important initiatives such as increasing the state’s minimum wage, a new gun safety measure, and a comprehensive regional mass transit system.

Seattle’s LGBT executive directors meet regularly to ensure that in challenging times we know who to turn to, and in joyous times how to come together to celebrate. This morning’s meeting left us compelled to reaffirm our commitment to each of you and our community as a whole. Whatever your needs, we will be there for you. Whether you turn to film, music or the arts to heal and enrich your life. Whether you are searching for health care or struggling with mental health or addiction challenges. Whether you need safety from sexual, physical or emotional abuse. Whether you are looking to support underfunded nonprofits or are building a vibrant and economically healthy community as an entrepreneur. Your community stands ready to support you as we all continue our journey to be your voice for equality and to safeguard your civil rights as LGBTQ people.

If you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed or scared or sad, remember to reach out to talk with a friend, co-worker, or family member to share your feelings. If you need help, call Seattle Counseling Service‘s 24-Hour Crisis Line at 1-866-427-4747 for emotional support and care.

We are family, we always have been, and we are stronger together.

For equality,

Danni Askini, Gender Justice League
Connie Burk, The NW Network
Louise Chernin, GSBA (Greater Seattle Business Association)
Gary Davis, Companis
Barbara Ebert, Lifelong
Ann McGettigan, Seattle Counseling Service
Jason Plourde, Three Dollar Bill Cinema
Luis Fernando Ramirez, Entre Hermanos
Steve Smith, Seattle Men’s Chorus/Seattle Women’s Chorus
Fred Swanson, Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center
Josh Wallace, SASG (Seattle Area Support Groups and Community Center)

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