The days after the election have been difficult as many parents struggle with how to tell their LGBT children what has transpired.

The idea of being a “one issue voter” used to bother me. I never understood what the depths of being a one issue voter could be until I was faced with the recent election decisions; I mean I became a “one issue” voter and that one issue was my children.

“It is a scary world to live in when you are worried about your life on so many levels for so many reasons.”

How could I vote for someone who wanted to take away the basic rights of one of my children, and made light of his own treatment of women when one of my children is a also girl? It is a scary world to live in when you are worried about your life on so many levels for so many reasons. My oldest child is transgender and Donald Trump has already vowed to take away the basic rights of the LGBT community – ones we have been working hard to even obtain for the “T” in the acronym. I pray that these promises made will not come to fruition but the reality is that I will not stop fighting until there are explicit LGBT protections for my transgender child and all the transgender people I know and have not met.

The days after the election have been difficult. I have seen many parents struggle with how to tell their LGBT children what had transpired and heard of several LGBT kids take their lives or attempt to immediately after the announcement.  I have seen people lose friends and block fellow Facebook members, and post comments that would never have been posted if it were not for this tumultuous election. The fear of what is to come and the unknown of what will happen with a new Republican president is overwhelming to LGBT adults, not to mention how teenagers process these events in their lives. Even if it were only one person to take their life in fear of the future government regime, that is entirely one too many. The Trevor Project reports that numbers have increased significantly to more than double what they would expect to see just today since the election announcement. Most of the concerns are over possible policy changes and how this will change the lives of LGBTQ people and worried LGBTQ teens. Trans Lifeline has received a record number of calls as well as many other suicide prevention lines reporting the same increase.

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The fear is real and the only way we can get though it is to remain a tight knit community. We cannot in-fight and cause destruction at our core. Now is the time we need to come to action for ALL of the LGBT people. Marriage equality was won but that does not mean it will remain. Overall we need FEDERAL LGBT protection rights. We need to work together to secure these basic human rights for our friends and children.

“Well, Kernel, they kilt us but they aint whupped us yit.”

Tim Kaine aptly quoted William Faulkner “Well, Kernel, they kilt us but they aint whupped us yit,” and I say we must battle forward! Do Not Mourn – ORGANIZE! There is more work to do!

I am calling all LGBT rights warriors, Momma Bears and Poppa Bears, advocates, allies and affirming friends and families to not be silent any more. Speak up for your loved ones and those you regard as friends. Make a bold statement and begin to support the LGBT community like you never have before. Join a local support group, share affirming stories on Facebook, become a part of PFLAG, ACLU or HRC or local groups like Equality Texas. Actively show those who need the support and those who need the example of true unconditional love what it means to love.

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Melissa Ballard is a native Texan with a wonderful husband, Ken, transgender teenaged son, Ashur, and a quirky daughter named Kennedy. When not struggling with multiple sclerosis or chasing her husband while cycling for Bike MS, she is advocating for trans kids and their rights. In early 2015 a group was formed as a social connection for local transgender kids and their families and soon after www.dfwtkf.com was born. In just under a year, the social group has grown to more than 100 active members including parents and siblings of trans and gender non-conforming kids. Speaking to others and letting them know they are not alone is one of her greatest goals and will continue to be a focus in the future.