Trump needs to speak out against homophobia and transphobia

“Historic Fact: Donald Trump Will Be The First President To Support Gay Marriage From The Beginning”

So reads the headline over a piece by Bruce Carroll on a site called Independent Journal Review, in which the views of the author of the article “are exclusive to them and do not represent the views of IJR.”

Carroll points out the following: “Donald Trump is the first President of the United States who was elected as an open supporter of the gay community at large and gay marriage specifically. Let us not forget that until it was politically expedient, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both opposed gay marriage for the overwhelming majority of the time taxpayers paid for their lifestyles.”

And while Carroll never uses the adjective “transgender” in his piece, he does use the “LGBT” term a few times, such as this one: “President Trump now has a historic platform to demonstrate by deeds that he shows no animus toward the LGBT community yet at the same time not advocating for special rights.”

And then he says this: “I have confidence that Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions will carry out our civil rights laws in an equal fashion, which includes LGBT protection and protection of religious freedom.”

Of course, the part about “religious freedom” will be a sore point for many if people are allowed to discriminate in the name of religion . . . but I digress. I’m guessing we will get back to that particular issue if and when the Trump administration moves on it.

What I really want to talk about is Trump and the LGBT community. There are fears among many that Trump will move to derail the rights already won by lesbian and gay people, and that his administration will put up roadblocks for trans people.

My crystal ball is murky on these issues. There is no doubt that Trump has many anti-LGBT folks around him these days. But he does support same-sex marriage, and he has shown in the past that he has no issues with trans people: in Canada in 2012, for example, his Miss Canada Pageant organizers tried to bar a trans woman, Jenna Talackova, from competing in the contest. After much hullabaloo in the media, Trump’s U.S. office overrode the Canadian organizers with this statement: “As long as she meets the standards of legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, which we understand that she does, Jenna Talackova is free to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant.”

I can’t recall him saying one nasty word about trans people at the time.

Jenna Talackova as the co-grand marshal of the 2012 Vancouver Pride Parade. (Source: Annie Jackson/Wikipedia)
Jenna Talackova as the co-grand marshal of the 2012 Vancouver Pride Parade. (Source: Annie Jackson/Wikipedia)

More recently, he has been somewhat wishy-washy about the so-called “bathroom issue” that concerns so many conservative types. While campaigning in April 2016, Trump said “transgender people should be allowed to use whatever bathroom they feel most comfortable with — including at Trump Tower in New York,” the New York Times reported.

But he took some heat over his stance from Republicans, so he supposedly flip-flopped on the issue and claimed he supported North Carolina’s anti-trans law . . .

And so it goes.

I don’t for a minute think that Donald Trump harbours any bad feelings for LGB and T people. But many of the people he is naming to important positions certainly have shown that they would like to restrict the rights of LGBT folks. Will Trump be able to contain them? Will he be in office long enough to contain them . . . because he may be the only buffer between an anti-LGBT administration and the LGBT community.

Time will tell. I’m sure I will be writing more about this.

****

Meanwhile, a somewhat sad piece I handled for my paper was one from a Washington Post writer yesterday about the increase in homophobia he has seen in the past few days.

Steven Petrow writes in a story headlined “Erasure of LGBT page from White House website empowers homophobes and bigots” that he has read several inflammatory reader comments in mainstream news reports about the new WhiteHouse.gov site not having an LGBT page.

Like this one, on a CBS News site from a reader calling himself Tired-n-Ariz: “Love it. We can say Fag again.”

It is standard procedure for new White House administrations to start with a new website — indeed, the Obama White House site has been archived. And it is certainly not surprising that a Republican administration won’t do much to advocate for LGBT people — and won’t have a special page devoted to them.

But some haters out there feel they now have licence to openly express slurs against LGBT people, and it will only get worse if Trump doesn’t make some sort of statement decrying the bigotry.

Let’s hope the American media press him on these issues.

Again, as the British like to say, it’s early days yet . . . I will be writing more about these issues.

— Jillian

Photo: Buck Angel: This is what women could see in women’s public washrooms and dressing rooms if legislation is enacted forcing trans men to use women’s facilities. (Source: Buck Angel/Eli Schmidt / Buck Angel Entertainment)

11 thoughts on “Trump needs to speak out against homophobia and transphobia

  1. Trump has the attention span of a parakeet. He changes his mind mid-sentence.

    While Trump didn’t speak of LGBt rights much during the campaign, he is surrounded by homophobes including his Vice-President and Attorney General. Since Trump is not expected to stay in office beyond 100 days, Future President Pence is the world’s most volatile homophobe. Trump does not support LGBT people, he tolerates them for their vote.

    Don’t forget that Trump’s advisors include Steve Bannon, a White Supremacist who hates everyone who isn’t a straight, white, anglo-saxon male.

    Yes, the LGBT community does have a lot to fear in Trump/Pence.

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    1. I have been monitoring Bannon’s Breitbart site, which is where I learned that Trump is the only U.S. president who has supported gay folks since the beginning of his mandate. They provided the link to the Carroll piece. The Breitbart site seems to have toned down the anti-LGBT rhetoric recently — of course, its reader comments are as hateful as ever. Again, time will tell . . .

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  2. Trump’s problem with appealing to bigotry and the worst in our society, is that he can’t just separate the bigotry towards one group while ignoring that those same people are also against other groups which Trump may personally feel should not be discriminated against. Bigots don’t discriminate about who they hate, they hate everyone who is different than them. When someone hates people or color, it isn’t much of a stretch to extend their hatred to people of a certain religion, or of a particular sexual orientation, or gender. It’s all encompassing hatred.

    And, it’s rather obvious by Trump’s cabinet appointments that he has no intention of protecting the rights of LGBT people. I don’t believe Jeff Sessions would have accepted the position of Attorney General if he would have to enforce laws he has spent over 30 years fighting against, (he comes from a state where bigotry is still seen as a favorable quality in an elected official.) They may not try to repeal laws, they simply won’t enforce them, so bigots won’t have to fear federal prosecution. It will fall to the states to protect LGBT people, and this will mean that many American’s rights will not mean as much in many states as in others. Certainly turning back the clock on much progress gained in past decades.

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    1. The White House has insisted this week it will uphold the Obama administration’s policies on LGBT people, and it has also said it is not planning to pass a religious freedoms order that would, essentially, lead to discrimination against LGBT people. So, it remains to be seen if they will live up to their word.

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  3. Also, have to mention, the guy with the cigar in the photo at the top of this posting, reminds me very much of a male model I know in the Boston area. In addition to his modeling, he is pursuing his PhD at Harvard.

    Appearances can be very misleading, and I’m afraid this administration will run with those mis-perceptions.

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