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VIEWS Warren's America would center our voices
by Adam Flores

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Days before I marched in my first Pride Parade in 2015, I waited anxiously for the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision that guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry. I still recall the profound image later that night of the White House alit with six colors of the pride flag, seeing for the first time part of myself celebrated so visibly by the highest levels of our government.

While that monumental moment in U.S. history filled me with hope for my future and the future of the LGBTQ+ community, my daily life did not change. The countless challenges that queer people—especially queer people of color—face every day were not erased in that one Supreme Court decision. And now, under the Trump administration, our very existence is threatened by countless attempts to unravel progress.

These past few years have taught me that we must dream bigger and fight harder in order to overcome the hatred and bigotry spewed by the Trump administration. This moment requires a leader who centers the voices and experiences of queer people of color. Elizabeth Warren is that leader.

For Elizabeth Warren, the plans are about the people. Big, structural change is more than a campaign tagline; it is about listening to the voices of community and responding with visionary policies that carry real meaning in the lives of queer Latinx folk across the country and world.

Indeed, the real lives impacted these past few years under the Trump administration include those of migrants who experienced neglect and abuse in detention centers. I often wonder what big, structural change would mean for trans women like Johana Medina Leon, who died after not receiving adequate medical care while in ICE custody.

The real lives impacted include those of our students in our schools who had their rights threatened when the Trump administration sought to remove or limit protections for LGBTQ+ students. And, the real lives impacted include the Latinx men living with HIV who are not receiving regular primary care because our healthcare system is failing our community when people can't afford life-saving prescriptions.

When Elizabeth Warren is president, she will lift up the voices of every LGBTQ+ person, stand up to discrimination, and fight back. She will ensure that the United States respects the basic human rights of people seeking asylum in our country, including LGBTQ+ asylum-seekers. She will fully invest in a broad effort to finally end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, including increasing funding for important research and treatment programs that reach the most vulnerable populations. She will expand access to PrEP and other preventive tools to help reduce transmission rates, especially among queer people of color. She will reinstate and expand on protections for trans and gender-expansive students that the Trump administration has scrapped in an effort to erase our queer and Latino/a/x families. And as president, Warren will fight shoulder to shoulder with our community—because no one should ever be unsafe, unheard, or disempowered because of who they are or who they love.

Warren understands that policies created in Washington have a real impact on the lives of queer Latino/a/x people in Illinois and across the country. She understands that marriage equality was not the end of the queer rights movement, but rather one step on the path toward full equality.

She is the leader we need for the future we are trying to build together.

Adam Flores is a queer Latino advocate and delegate for Illinois for Warren.

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