Friday, January 20, 2017

Legacy

With the changing of the presidents the LGBTQ Nation had an article about President Obama’s LGBT legacy.
LGBTQ activists reflect on Barack Obama’s legacy of support
By David Crary, AP National Writer
January 8, 2017

It was a new look for the White House, bathed in rainbow colors to celebrate the Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriage nationwide.

President Barack Obama, who was inside, felt the glow on that June night in 2015.

“To see people gathered in the evening outside on a beautiful summer night, and to feel whole and to feel accepted, and to feel that they had a right to love — that was pretty cool,” he said a few days later.

“Pretty cool.”

That might be a fair description of how Obama himself is viewed by legions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans who consider him — among all U.S. presidents — the greatest champion of their rights and well-being.

The relationship was slow in developing.

Obama took office in 2009 as a self-described “fierce advocate” for gay rights. Yet for much of his first term, he drew flak from impatient, skeptical activists who viewed him as too cautious, too politically expedient. They were frustrated he wouldn’t endorse same-sex marriage — Obama cagily said he was “evolving” — and wanted him to move faster on several other issues.
The article goes on to talk about the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the Supreme Court decision, his trip to visit Orlando to meet with the victims and their family of the horrible Pulse Nightclub massacre and,
According to a tally by the Human Rights Campaign, Obama’s administration has made more than 125 changes to regulations and policies to expand LGBTQ rights, and Obama appointed more than 250 openly LGBT people to federal positions, including 15 judicial appointments and nine high-level diplomatic posts.
And his making Stonewall the nation first national monument honoring LGBTQ rights, his awarding Ellen DeGeneres the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“The policies and protections that our community gained under his administration changed our daily lives and included us in the national conversation,” she [Cari Searcy of Mobile, Alabama] said. “We have come so far under his leadership, and for that, I will forever be grateful.”
Okay now that we got basically the LG part of his legacy I want to talk about his “T” legacy which I think out shines his work for the “LG” community.

  • Dylan Orr – Special assistant for the Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy 
  • Amanda Simpson – Executive Director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI) 
  • Trans attorney Shannon Minter to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships Raffi Freedman-Gurspan – White House Staff
  • First time transgender was mentioned in a State of the Union Address
  • Health insurance: ACA & Medicare
  • Recognized protections: EEOC, OSHA, DoJ, & DoEd
  • Appointed trans woman Freedman-Gurspan as the White House’s LGBT liaison

I think that this outshines his lesbian and gay legacy, there have been out gays and lesbians on the White House staff and in administrative positions before but there has never been an out trans person before in those positions before.



As I was watching President Obama’s farewell speech Wednesday night the thing that struck me was when the camera shows the audience there is something that jumped out at me...

There are blacks, Latinos, and Asians in audience and it is not a sea of all white like Trumps audiences.

And who would have ever thought that we would get mentioned in a president's Farewell address, but we did!
For blacks and other minorities, it means tying our own struggles for justice to the challenges that a lot of people in this country face – the refugee, the immigrant, the rural poor, the transgender American, and also the middle-aged white man who from the outside may seem like he’s got all the advantages, but who’s seen his world upended by economic, cultural, and technological change.
[...]
...That’s why we cannot withdraw from global fights – to expand democracy, and human rights, women’s rights, and LGBT rights – no matter how imperfect our efforts, no matter how expedient ignoring such values may seem... 
Transgender Americans, not transgender but "transgender American" which is an important distinction, that we are Americans.

Also as those bubbles of thumb-ups, hearts, and sad emoticons drifted by there were very few of the angry emoticons that drifted by.

My final comment is…

I am proud to have lived during President Obama’s administration. He was the president of the people and he will go down in history as one of the best presidents of the United States.



Tomorrow I will be at the state capitol for the Women's March on Hartford, CT. This is going to be an historic event, over a thousand people have signed up saying that they are going tomorrow.

When I went to rallies for marriage equality there were probably only a couple of hundred people there, tomorrow there will be three or four times that number of people there.

I know of so many people who are going to the rallies around the country many of them for the first time in their lives they are attending a rally. Mothers are bringing their daughters and their grandmothers are once again picking up the banner that they held in the sixties and seventies for women rights.

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