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A Malaise Falls Over the LGBTQ Community


In a fog of hopelessness this week? You're not alone. But all is not lost.

Today is World Mental Health Day and it couldn't come a day sooner.

With the confirmation of a misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic liar (and possible sexual predator) to the Supreme Court, we're now living through possibly the darkest political week since Donald Trump's Russian-assisted "victory" almost two years ago. The injustice of another deeply-unqualified straight white man cheating his way into a position of power is a lot to handle for many in our community, who've had to fight like hell just to survive.

My friends are demoralized, my boyfriend is in a funk, and a gloom has settled over my resilient co-workers; personally, I've been listening to a lot of Fiona Apple. But the depression appears more systemic than anecdotal.

We all seem to share this pain, but it doesn't spring from the same source. For some, this time has forced us to relive our experiences with sexual misconduct and assault and be hit with the reminder that those in power rarely take such crimes seriously, even with people like Tarana Burke, Rose McGowan, and Ronan Farrow kicking ass.

For others, their sense of right and wrong has been upended; their feeling that our country -- which enacted marriage equality and twice elected a person of color as president -- was on a path more truly aligned with the ideals laid out in our founding.

And for others, like me, their despair derives from both the Kavanaugh-induced walk down nightmare lane and the inherent injustice perpetrated by Republicans who snatched power by lying, smearing, gerrymandering, colluding, and sticking their heads in the sand.

The last time so many of us felt this way was that dark day in November 2016. Not only did we not know what lay in front of us, we knew we had little chance to change any of what awaited.

But, I keep reminding myself, then is not now. We have an election in less than a month. We can change nearly everything. Not only can we win the House, but if LGBTQ people mobilize and vote, vote, vote in places like Tennessee, Texas, and Arizona (we are everywhere, remember?) we could even win the Senate. If that's the case, that man we call "president" could be nearly powerless, especially after all his crimes are exposed.

So, I'm working at being hopeful and energized for November 6. I plan to volunteer this weekend and as much as I can before the election -- I hope you will too. Don't know how to get involved? Start here.

If you are a trans or gender-nonconforming person considering suicide Trans Lifeline can be reached at (877) 565-8860. LGBTQ youth (ages 24 and younger) can reach the Trevor Project Lifeline at (866) 488-7386. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 can also be reached 24 hours a day by people of all ages and identities.

NEAL BROVERMAN is the interim digital editorial director of The Advocate. Follow him on Twitter @nbroverman.
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