LGBTQ High School Students Send A Message To Trump

by Eliza Castile

Many Americans have been eyeing Donald Trump's inauguration with trepidation, and on Friday, it finally happened: We said goodbye to President Obama, and hello to President Trump. In GLSEN's latest video LGBTQ high school students sent Donald Trump a message — and if you haven't already cried yet this morning, the two-minute clip is pretty much guaranteed to do the job.

Founded in 1990, GLSEN (pronounced "glisten") is a national education organization dedicated to improving the school environment for LGBTQ kids of all ages. "Every day, GLSEN works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment," the organization's website reads.

Unfortunately, the current political climate doesn't lend itself well to this mission. "Since the election, we’ve seen an increase in reports of harassment, bullying, and violence towards LGBTQ students in schools. Now with a new administration in office, there’s growing anxiety among LGBTQ students about what they might face," GLSEN wrote. That's what led the organization to start a campaign called 100 Days of Kindness, which encourages supporters of the LGBTQ community to share moments of #KindnessInAction on social media.

As part of this campaign, GLSEN gathered together LGBTQ students with a message for the president: "They won't stop now."

The video begins with a series of congratulations. Afterward, the students move on to plead with Trump to set a forward-thinking example for the country. "You have the power to change millions of lives. ... The election may be over, but our stories are not," they say.

The video goes on to note that Friday marks the end of GLSEN's "No Name-Calling Week," and it takes a jab at Trump's notoriously short fuse. "We noticed that you like to use name-calling when people speak out against you, but just know that we are listening and watching as you take that oath today," say the students.

Their message is especially poignant given that most high school students were unable to vote in the November election, but they're likely to be deeply affected by Trump's administration for years to come. Many LGBTQ advocates are particularly worried for students after the appointment of Betsy DeVos, whose father was the co-founder of the anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council, as Secretary of Education.

The clip concludes with an invitation to join in on 100 Days of Kindness. You can check out the campaign itself on GLSEN's website, and check out the full video above.