Across the world people will be coming to terms with a new President of the United States. The result will undoubtedly be a shock to many.
Whatever you think of the American election result, there is no doubt this campaign has revealed deep divisions in US society. Those divisions have grown starker as the campaign has played out. Many have looked on with fear, and a feeling of helplessness, as the rhetoric of this election sought to ramp up and capitalise on these divisions.
It has been one of the most spiteful political campaigns we have witnessed in recent years. Unfortunately, as well as division, we have also seen a strong narrative of malice. Debates have focused on hate, discrimination and the creation of an ‘other’. We have seen people objectified and demonised on the basis of their gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability and many other things. We have seen violence, corruption and plenty of fear.
The UK has had its own trade in the politics of fear and division. The Brexit result was a shock to some, and a welcome change for others. It caused fear in some communities, and empowered others.
But however you feel about the result – either in the American election or here in the UK over Brexit - it is imperative we work towards reaching across these divides.
Allowing society to settle into its separate quarters and not challenging this rift is dangerous.
We have a long history of forming communities from seemingly disparate groups. The letters L, G, B, and T represent an incredibly broad and diverse group of people. But we have reached out to each other and worked together. We have also worked closely with people who don't identify as LGBT, and called on them to be our allies and work with us in our fight for equality.
It has always been vital that we work together.
By doing so, we create collectives who look out for each other, who rally for each other, and who speak out against inequality and discrimination, in whatever form it takes.
These coalitions are now more important than ever.
The changes we have seen in recent months have also shown how tenuously equality is held. We cannot, for one second, believe that equality is guaranteed once it has been achieved. It is a constant project that we need to tend and protect.
Equality becomes stronger the further we extend it to others. We need to protect the rights and equality we already have, and we need to fight to make sure that these will not be taken away. Together, we are stronger.
I am forever by the side of everyone in the LGBT community – and beyond. Stonewall is forever by your side. We now need you to stand with us, stand with each other and stand with other people who are marginalised and discriminated against.
We need each other more than ever.