Anne J. California

One Small Step

It is imperative that the future president of the United States of America focuses on further expanding freedom and the ability to pursue happiness to all Americans.

Dear Future President,

The United States of America was founded on the principles of humans’ natural rights. Our Declaration of Independence describes these as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. Helping all people obtain their natural rights should be your top priority in your four, or perhaps eight, years in office.

I wish to speak to you specifically about the rights of LGBTQ+ citizens, that is: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise queer individuals. Our country has made great strides in LGBTQ+ equality in the last eight years, the most notable being the legalization of same-sex marriage. However, every day, we see violence, be it verbal or physical, hurting the LGBTQ+ community. These actions can be homicidal; it is an unfortunate reality that many individuals are killed or gravely injured for being a member of the LGBTQ+ community. A pertinent example would be the 49 dead and 53 injured victims of the shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub this summer. Furthermore, those who are verbally attacked or otherwise feel unaccepted in the American community develop several mental health problems, many of which lead to suicide. Per the Trevor Project, the risk of suicide is four times greater amongst LGBTQ+ citizens, and each episode of LGBTQ+ victimization increases these citizens’ chance of self-harming by 250%.

When Neil Armstrong took one step on the moon, it was a glorious accomplishment but by no means the ultimate achievement of the United States’ goal to thoroughly explore outer space; it was only a first step. I do not wish to say that we have not made progress in this country, but we have a much longer way to go. The conservative sector of the United States will make it difficult for you to pass laws and bills that expand equality for all citizens of our country. They will protest and boycott your legislation, and it will be easy to give into them, but that would be a betrayal of the very values that form the foundation of the United States of America. It is imperative that you continue fighting, even if you face opposition. That opposition will try to convince you that discrimination is the choice of the people and that you must listen because America stands for democracy. However, fortunately, the voices calling for discrimination are becoming more and more of a minority, and that minority forgets that, before anything else, America stands for freedom and for the human rights of every citizen.

For the sake of ensuring the freedom of each and every one of your citizens and continue the tradition of preserving the natural rights of human beings, I implore you, future President, to protect LGBTQ+ Americans, and to be a zealous fighter for the advancement of their rights.

Anne J.