Pride Month is drawing to a close in cities around the world and most of us are asking ourselves the same question: have we gained any ground after two years of a Trump Administration? The answer is a pretty hard “no,” unfortunately. Trump certainly pretended to be a friend to the LGBTQ community when he ran for office in 2016, but his actions have proved to be anything but friendly to our cause.
June 28, 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the epic Stonewall riots, perhaps one of the most important events in our community’s history. The LGBTQ community has certainly grown much stronger in the decades since then, but moving forward has been difficult these last few years.
Let’s look at what recent presidents accomplished for the community:
- Clinton implemented the controversial “don’t ask don’t tell” policy that technically allowed LGBTQ individuals to serve in the military as long as they were quiet about it.
- Clinton implemented legislation to bar discrimination for sexual orientation in the government.
- George W. Bush basically did nothing, but he was somewhat vocal in his opposition to gay marriage.
- Obama was president when gay marriage was legalized.
- Obama repealed “don’t ask don’t tell,” allowing LGBTQ individuals to serve in the military openly.
Now let’s look at what Trump has accomplished for the community:
- He ignored Pride Month.
- He barred the flying of pride flags at U.S. embassies worldwide (although many chose to ignore his order).
- He barred transgendered individuals from serving in the United States military.
- He endorses politicians who hold anti-LGBTQ views.
- He’s edited legal documents to “redact” LGBTQ rights.
- He makes it difficult for members of our community to afford health care.
- He ended a Bureau of Prisons law that allowed transgender individuals to serve time with those who share the identified gender. Now transgender individuals are housed dependent on biological gender, putting them in significant danger.
- He has strengthened discriminatory “religious freedom” laws.
More importantly, his words continually perpetuate hatred across minority communities. Since his 2016 campaign, attacks against practicing Muslims have skyrocketed. Violence against Hispanics has risen. Attacks against transgender women have skyrocketed. Trump is a man who is responsible for the deaths of American citizens, members of our community included. His election was a disaster for LGBTQ individuals, humanitarian efforts around the world, and progress in general.
For all the steps forward we’ve taken over the last two decades, it seems like Trump has tried to take twice as many backward — and he’s proud of it.
In 2019, LGBTQ individuals are the most likely targets of hate crimes.
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