Karine Jean-Pierre
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From Coast to Coast, LGBT Protesters Vow Resistance to Trump

Anti-Trump sign

Thousands of people marched today in Los Angeles, D.C., and other cities around the nation to call for LGBT equality and resistance to Donald Trump and other anti-equality forces.

“He’s not my president. He’s not your president!” Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California told the L.A. crowd at a rally that capped the Resist March, held this year in lieu of the city’s traditional Pride parade. The march traced a route from Hollywood to West Hollywood. Waters also led attendees in a chant of “Impeach 45!” Trump is the 45th U.S. president.

Another politician addressing the rally was U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who called for passage of the Equality Act, sweeping antidiscrimination legislation pending in Congress. “We don’t agonize. We organize!” she told the gathering, and she urged everyone to vote to restore Democratic majorities in Congress.  

Echoing her sentiments was Phill Wilson, president and CEO of the L.A.-based Black AIDS Institute. “This whole thing is a joke if we don’t vote,” he said.

Transgender activist Bamby Salcedo noted violence against trans people, especially trans women of color, and said lesbian, gay, and bisexual people need to support their trans sisters and brothers. “When one of our [trans] sisters gets murdered, I hope you will march with us,” she said.

Actress America Ferrera reminded the crowd that resistance is intersectional, a point also driven home when Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Cullors addressed the group. Various speakers and marchers addressed issues such as racial justice, women’s rights, and access to health care.

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles capped the gathering with a rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” an anthem of both patriotism and protest.

The theme of intersectionality was also present at Washington, D.C.’s Equality March, on a route that took participants past the White House, and the subsequent rally on the National Mall. “The LGBTQ community is black, is Jewish, is Latina, is Muslim, differently abled,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, told attendees, according to Washington TV station WTOP. “Bi, trans, and nonbinary. We are women; we are immigrants. We are in every community. And we will stand united.”

Nonbinary actor Asia Kate Dillon reminded the crowd, “We march to affirm that human beings are far more complex than we ever thought … and how beautiful that complexity truly makes every one of us.” Other speakers included actor Charlie Carver, retired NBA player Jason Collins, and officials with the Human Rights Campaign, including press secretary Sarah McBride and Noël Gordon, senior program specialist for HIV prevention and health equity.

On the way to the rally, marchers chanted, “What do we want? Equality! When do we want it? Now!” and, in pointed rebukes to Trump, “Love, not hate, makes America great” and "We're here, we're queer, get that Cheeto out of here.”

Resisters also marched in Chicago, San Jose, San Diego, Hartford, Conn., the Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe, and other cities around the nation. In those cities activists highlighted intersectionality too. "There is not a category of human identity that doesn't include us," said Regina Dyton at the rally in Hartford, according to the Hartford Courant. "Race, ethnicity, gender, disability ... I am you, you are me."

Participants at several sites noted the mass shooting at Orlando LGBT nightclub Pulse a year ago; Orlando has planned a variety of observances for Monday, the one-year anniversary of the tragedy. 

In Washington, Pulse survivor Demetrius Knowlings told WTOP, “I was at Pulse that night and lost my best friend, Eddie Justice, the gentleman that was in the bathroom texting his mother that he didn’t want to die. He wanted to live.” Knowllngs added, “We will not go in silence … we will continue to fight.”

Check back to Advocate.com for more coverage and photos of today’s marches.

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