First Published: November 2016
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.
There is no question that this week will be momentous in American Political History. There are 218,959,000 people eligible to vote in the USA and yet only 146 million of them have actually registered. Every voter who's been listed will have a stark choice to make between two of the most unpopular and untrusted candidates ever.

Donald Trump would be a total disaster for gay men and women in the USA and those around the world. He would without question elect a conservative to the Supreme Court and then equal marriage, gay equality under the law, and gay human rights will all be washed away - and it will take no time at all. The bigotry of the USA would be seen as a justification for other countries to follow suit.

Hillary Clinton is flawed as a candidate, but there can be few who doubt that she supports equality for every person, anywhere in the world, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, financial status, race, creed or nationality. She is not perfect - but she is all there is. We sincerely hope that Americans of all political persuasions will unite and elect America's first female President.

America is a brave nation. Despite clear and quite overwhelming divisions eight years ago the people of the USA made another momentous decision and elected their first ever black President. It's been a difficult administration, marred by appalling behaviour by those in the House of Representatives and the Senate who blocked many of the reforms that Barack Obama hoped to achieve. With a decision to be made between Trump and Clinton, the people's choice has become clear - Obama's popularity has never been higher, and Michele Obama, the First Lady, has ratings that have gone through the roof.

In the week that Americans have to make their determination, we turn the clock back exactly 8 years. We remember the hope and history of those days with Russell Olivera Jr. In 2008, Russell was Executive Director & Founder of QBliss the not for profit gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersexed, and their allies community and life website and he reflected on Barack Obama's historic victory which he believed at the time had the potential to reshape America.

As I sit and watch history change before my eyes, I think of all that have come before, all that have seen so much through their lives, who now witness something they believed they would not see in their lifetime.

Those people lost faith in us all. I know that like those people I have had moments in my life that I lost faith in us. We have seen in recent years the ugly truths that have been given to us. We have watched a world lose faith in us and stood by watching injustice after injustice. We have been heavy hearted, hurt, exhausted, and have given up. We wanted change.

Now, we stand in a moment in history that will never be seen again, we have captured the attention of the world in a positive light, we found change, we have a new hero, a man named Barack Obama…a man that has brought hope to the broken dreams of what America is and can be again. We have we found our new hope for a changed America. One where colour lines may in fact be gone. A place we can again be proud of.

Barack Obama represents so many things to so many different kinds of people. An African American president opens the door and shows us all, our kids and our future that for the first time in our history anyone can truly be president of this beautiful country, there is room at the table for all. What will the future be, what will happen tomorrow, the next day, next week, next month, and next year?

Now, as I sit and watch what will be next I am certain that history is moving forward, someday we can have a president of any race, any gender, any religion, and any sexual orientation. I believe these things are possible, with hope, faith, love, tolerance and a drive from us all to move forward and come together as one family. Unity is power if we let it be.

Russell Olivera Jnr was the Executive Director & Founder of QBliss the not for profit gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersexed, and their allies community and life website. Just as Barack Obama took office in 2009, QBliss celebrated their 10 year anniversary.


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