It’s time we have a candid conversation with one another: if you identify as gay, you are part of a community of marginalized people whose rights and very survival are threatened by the prospect of a Trump presidency.
And while Trump may have thrown around the acronym “LGBTQ” as a loose statement of unsubstantiated queer empathy, he certainly is not pro-LGBT. But beyond this, part of being queer means aligning our struggles with all minority groups and understanding that our oppression is intersectional and, for many of us, not easily compartmentalized. This includes caring about and fighting for the rights of people of color, women, disabled people, people of other nationalities and people of different classes, in addition to sexual and gender minorities, just to name a few.
So, if you’re a white, cis gay man who is privileged in every way ― except for who you go to bed with at night ― the message that your statement of support for Trump sends to all other minority groups is that you don’t give a shit about them.
Let’s take a look at Trump’s and Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence’s track record, shall we?
People of Color: Not only has discrimination against black people been a pattern in Trump’s career, but he has actively refused to condemn the white supremacists supporting his campaign. Here is a timeline of what Vox calls his “long history of racism, from the 1970s to 2016, explained.”
Women: I literally don’t even know where to begin with this one. Just take a look at this list of horribly offensive things Trump has said about women.
Disabled People: In the past, Trump openly mocked a reporter with a disability. He has a sordid history of this type of behavior.
Classism: Trump’s “working class support” is inherently mythological and his policies have the potential to trigger what many experts think could be the longest recession since the great depression.
Xenophobia: Trump loves to refer to groups of people monolithically by their nationality or religious affiliation. He has famously pledged to build a wall between America and Mexico and vowed to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.
Transgender People: Trump agreed with North Carolina’s decision to enact anti-trans House Bill 2 and has actively misgendered high-profile transgender people like Caitlyn Jenner.
Gay People: Trump has also said he would “strongly consider” appointing judges that would overturn SCOTUS’ same-sex marriage ruling. In June, he had a private meeting with over 400 of the most homophobic, bigoted and powerful anti-LGBT leaders in the country and has been a champion of “religious freedom” rhetoric used to discriminate against LGBT people. In addition, Pence has a long history of LGBT intolerance, including opposing foreign governments’ efforts to decriminalize homosexuality, opposing repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and leading a crusade against LGBT rights as governor of Indiana.
Trump is not a presidential candidate who cares about marginalized groups, or people who have to navigate this world on a very different, more difficult path than the one he has walked. And it’s time that we as queer people ― especially white, gay-identifying men with access to capital ― care about the most vulnerable members of our community enough to let their voices and experiences shape our actions, ideologies and policies.
If you want to do the daily mental gymnastics it must take to justify supporting Trump, by all means! No one is saying that you don’t have the right to do that, or that you have to embody a certain set of ideals because of your sexuality.
But at least admit that you literally couldn’t care less about what happens to the most vulnerable members of your community.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump
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