Her existence is not an opinion.

My friend Veronica is an incredible woman. She is smart, funny, genuine and sarcastic (a prerequisite for all my friends). We have been an important part of each other’s lives for 20 years. That’s a lot of laughter, a lot of tears and a lot of pedicures. She is my bestie, my heart, my sister, my friend and my family, and, she is transgender. 51

We were maids of honor in each other’s weddings, our sons are cousins, our families have taken trips together. We survived our 20s together in NYC (able to eat only because we got paid on different schedules), our 30s in California (where we had our first and only fight, which lasted 30 seconds), and now we’re raising families in different cities.

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Veronica has always been there for me. When she had gender affirmation surgery, I was right there, cooking, cleaning, giving back rubs as needed, being her advocate and trying not to make her laugh too much. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for her and nothing she wouldn’t do for me.

Earlier this week, we learned that the Trump administration wants to erase her from existence.They want to tell millions of Americans that they are not who they think they are. They want to tell Veronica that she isn’t Veronica, that my friend doesn’t exist.

Please join me in telling this administration that Veronica and millions of other Americans will not be erased. 

A few days ago, you heard from trans and nonbinary staff at Equality Federation. As an ally, I am asking you to step up. A donation in any amount to Equality Federation sends a strong message that the LGBTQ community, and our allies, will not be silenced. 

For all the trans and nonbinary people in your life – believe me, they are there – for human decency, please knock on doors, phone bank, donate and get OUT the vote this November.

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Joellyn Wilken Weingourt

Joellyn is the Donor and Corporate Relations Officer at Equality Federation, the strategic partner to state-based organizations working to win equality in the communities we call home. In this role, she is responsible for the maintenance and expansion of our major donor portfolio and corporate giving program, bringing resources to increase the impact of our Leadership and Advocacy programs.

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