ABC 27 Why I Vote: Giving voices to Big Bend, South Georgia LGBTQ+ communities

Posted at 5:49 PM, Oct 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-26 17:49:56-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — As we head into the election, ABC 27 is talking to people in our communities about what's sending them to the polls this November.

This week in our Why I vote series focuses on members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Plus community, sharing what's at stake for them in the election.

At least nine million LGBTQ+ American adults are registered to vote, according to UCLA. Tallahassee residents Jay Galante and Dan Taylor are both members of that community.

"I was in the Marine Corps for a lot of years, and back then it wasn't 'Don't Ask Don't Tell,' it was just 'don't,'" said Taylor.

"Being a transgender person, it's hard not to pay attention to a candidate's stance on what's being dubbed identity politics," Galante said.

For both of them, equality is a major issue.

"I am part of a marginalized community, and if we're not acknowledged, it's easy for us to be not valued," said Galante.

"I don't think folks are looking for special rights, but equal rights would be really, really great," Taylor said.

The equal rights they want are not just for LGBTQ+ voters.

"Women, children, people of color," said Taylor. "There are racial and social injustices."

They're looking at policies and positions, not just on the federal level.

"I, personally, am more invested in local campaigns," Galante said.

Because in some parts of Florida, those rights are at risk.

"Your housing rights aren't necessarily protected," said Taylor.

"What is a government doing to help people and make sure everybody feels important," Galante said.

So, they're asking questions and making their voices heard at the polls.

"We've seen progress over a lot of years, but there's still progress to be made," said Taylor.

In a poll conducted by GLAAD last month, 81 percent of LGBTQ+ people who took the poll said they were more motivated to vote than in previous elections.

That's why they vote.

We want you to tell us why you vote, what's sending you to the polls this election.

You can do it right now, underneath the Why I Vote story on the WTXL Tallahassee Facebook page by clicking here.

Or share with us on Twitter using #ABC 27WhyIVote.