If you’re bummed about not being able to celebrate Pride Month with a parade or festival, Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David has a suggestion for an alternative: volunteer, especially for the upcoming election.
“Please volunteer; please get involved in our fight for social justice and equality,” David says in his interview for Inside With The Advocate. “We are fighting for our lives.”
Given the recent Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality and other manifestations of racism, he points out, “Pride started in protest, where LGBTQ people said enough is enough.” The LGBTQ+ community needs to make racial justice a central part of its activism, “to stand up in all ways possible for other marginalized communities,” he says.
Part of that is standing up to the man who currently occupies the White House. The Advocate spoke to David the day after Donald Trump had police and troops disperse peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C., so he could have a photo op holding a Bible in front of a church. Trump has only added to his depredations since then.
“Donald Trump has sullied our Constitution,” David says, “and he is seeking to destroy our democracy. … We cannot accept what he is trying to do. We have to fight back.”
“As a Black man, as a gay man, as an immigrant, I have to make sure that we all know how important it is to fight for this democracy that we claim to care for,” adds David, the first person of color and first civil rights lawyer to head HRC in its 40-year history.
Toward that end, HRC has endorsed Democrat Joe Biden for president. Unlike Trump, “he actually is competent and has the ability to understand law and policy,” David says. Biden also “understands common decency” and “will bring a sense of dignity and respect back to the presidency,” he notes.
In addition, HRC has endorsed numerous candidates for the U.S. House and Senate, bodies that are crucial to passing the Equality Act; the current Senate majority leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, will not let the LGBTQ+ rights measure advance. The organization has endorsed candidates for state legislatures and local offices as well.
“We’re fighting on all fronts to make sure that we advance and support candidates that are pro-equality,” David says.
Watch the interview for more on HRC’s efforts to mobilize what it terms “equality voters” and support marginalized people across the board.
And Watch other episodes of Inside With the Advocate, which features an array of virtual stories with LGBTQ+ artists, trailblazers, and allies including Rosie O'Donnell, Emily Hampshire, Harvey Guillén, Ross Mathews, Kalen Allen, Sherry Cola, Fortune Feimster, Brandy Norwood, Bruce Richman, Tonatiuh, Josh Thomas, Ser Anzoategui, the Indigo Girls, Sara Benincasa, Dustin Lance Black, Lena Hall, and Mary Lambert.