Scroll To Top

Portraits of the Resistance


Denver David Robinson took portraits and talked to the people who stood in opposition to Trump at the inauguration.

Many Americans are not pleased that Donald Trump is now the U.S. president. (Remember, he lost the popular vote, while winning the Electoral College.) Protesters gathered Friday, during his inauguration, at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. Advocate contributor David Robinson spoke to and photographed several of them. Read on for their stories.


Kevin Booker is an educator in Connecticut. His students are from many different cultures. Some are immigrants, and some, along with their parents, are undocumented. Many of his students expressed fear after Trump's election. "I felt like I had to be here," he said. "I had to be here for my students who couldn't be here today. I want them to understand we do have a democracy. And you have to exercise your rights in a democracy, and that's why I am here today. Do not fear the system, because one individual does not have all the power."


Cindy and Kip are from Washington, D.C.

Cindy said she came out to protest because of "my love of people and my hate of the current president, for everything he stands for -- the divisiveness, the 'wall,' the antigay, the racists that support him, the Cabinet he is filling with racists."

Kip said, "I never though this day would come. I feel bad that I rooted for the Republicans to nominate Trump because I thought he would be so easy to beat. I underestimated the fear-mongering and his ability to bring out the worst in us. I stand against just about everything in his agenda -- the isolationism, the voter suppression, I fear what he's going to do to the Supreme Court. I think he's going to take us back 30 years."


Courtney Powell from New York said, "There was a queer dance party at 7 a.m. And we just wanted to be part of the resistance. We wanted to show that this isn't going to happen without a fight. What I am most scared of is Trump's unpredictability. Donald Trump is evil and unpredictable, and Mike Pence is predictably evil. And I think that would be safer. [Trump's] Cabinet choices have been such a step backwards."

Tate, also from New York, tells us, "I think women's rights, the freedom to choose about abortion -- these seem under attack. There is no respect for women."


Erica Honore from New York told us she made the decision to come to the protest right after the election. "Because I had been following the campaign, and I have been following Trump's rhetoric, his hatred, his disrespect, the violence at his rallies, and I felt like I needed to come down," she said.


Mary came with a large group of people from Louisville, Ky., because they believe "this president is a sham, a travesty. We are afraid for the rights of all people with this regime. We are all afraid for our civil liberties and rights and safety and for the well-being of this country with this madman."


Phil Guillard (right), born and raised in D.C., felt compelled to protest. It is the first inauguration he has ever been to. When asked what he meant by his sign about Trump being an ugly American, he said, "Just listen to the guy -- he is a nasty human being."

Lou from San Francisco was so horrified on election night that he and his wife knew that had to come "and let the country and the world know that Donald Trump's election does not speak for all of us here. We can dissent against his hatred and intolerance. Today is a step along the way of fighting back."


Petra (right) and her partner live in D.C. "We believe in free and fair elections, and the people should have a voice."


Jesse (right) from D.C. said, "I am worried about what's going to happen to my children's education once Trump is in office. Especially if Betsy DeVos becomes our secretary of Education."

Vanice said, "I am here because I think it is important to show resistance from day one."


Folena from Burlington, Vt., carried a sign stating "Not My President' because, she said, "I feel like Trump doesn't work for our rights, he doesn't believe in our rights. He working to take away what we have."


Joe from Connecticut: "I have never really been into politics until recently. I quit my corporate job. I did my research. And once I did my research on all the issues, I realized this election affected me greatly. I was working with Hillary's campaign. I got in touch with [my friend], and she was like, come down to D.C., and so here I am."


On Election Day, Autumn from Charlotte, N.C., "knew I wasn't happy, so I thought I would protest in every way possible. I don't like Trump. I think he is illegitimate. I think this whole election was not fair. And I wanted to voice my opinion that he will never be my president. I don't think this whole process was a fair process."


Rani Vargas (left) from San Francisco looked at her friend Alena on election night and they knew they had to leave the bubble of San Francisco to let everyone, including their colleagues at San Francisco State University, know how important it is to them to have an active voice.

Alena Chavez from San Francisco said, "As a woman of color, as -- we are both women of color -- I am extra scared that our rights are going to be taken away by this evil man and his Cabinet.. I want all the women around the world to know that I am here standing in solidarity with them."


Khury Petersen-Smith came from Boston because, he said, "The same forces that defend racist police violence and that police trans folks' use of the bathroom are also denying climate change and trying to make the rich as rich as possible. There is a whole system that is against the majority of us. Increasingly they're not even pretending to do it democratically. Trump didn't even win the election. Trump is a racist and a rapist, and everything he stands for should be destroyed."


Michelle Barnette from Connecticut came "for the main reason to raise awareness to sexual assault in America. By the time a woman is in college, one in five will be raped. Donald Trump has enabled a lot of things. He's enabled this horrible talk about sex. He isn't what really scares me anymore, it's what he instills in people that they are able to do now."


Stephanie and Greg are from Chicago. "Since Trump got elected we both knew we just had to come. Within a week we made plans. It's too depressing otherwise, to not do anything about it," Stephanie told us. Greg said, "We just felt the call to activate. The first thing they feel they need to do is eliminate all the ethics -- it's a sure sign of abuse.







Will from Chicago said, "We are here specifically because we are trans, and this (new) administration has made a point of being incredibly anti-LGBTQ. Trans people are especially at great risk. Even our right to use the bathroom is up for debate." Logan told us, "It's very important for us to stand up and make sure our voices are heard. Kit added, "We're going to keep the pressure up and we are going to keep going."

Denver David Robinson's work has appeared in The Advocate, VICE Denmark, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere. In 2016 he received the Richard J. Margolis Award.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Denver David Robinson