Trump’s presidency win spells really bad news for LGBT people.
I don’t like using hyperbole. I think it cheapens actual expressions. I don’t even like using ‘LOL’ because odds are really good that I’m not actually laughing out loud, I just want to acknowledge my friend said something that was supposed to be funny, or end a text message on an upbeat note.
When I was a kid, I used to play this game on the monkey bars. I’d start on one end, another kid would start on the other, and we’d try to wrap our legs around each others’ waists so we could pull one another down to the ground. I lost every time. And every time I’d fall flat on my back, too, knocking the wind out of myself, left staring up dizzily at my victorious opponent.
Now, with that said, please believe me when I say this isn’t hyperbole, or even close to it: last night I felt like I’d been pulled off of the monkey bars. I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me as I laid there, gazing up confusedly at my ceiling and trying to comprehend what had just happened. My country had just voted Trump into office. My country had just voted to make me unsafe. As an LGBT woman, I no longer had a country.
And it’s easy to imagine that this is just the whining of someone whose party candidate didn’t win. I imagine I would’ve been pretty annoyed if Mitt Romney had won, and I remember being distinctly upset when George W. Bush won. More than upset, I was embarrassed. I felt like we’d just shown our worst face to the world, like the kind of cringing you do when you accidentally spill food all over yourself in front of someone you’ve been trying to work up the courage to ask out for the last year. I was embarrassed by George W. Bush.
But this is different.
I’m terrified of Donald Trump and Mike Pence.
Forget about any advancements in LGBT rights, our current plan, as LGBT people, is to try and stay alive.
Maybe we’ll get to cling to some of the rights we already have due to how slowly the wheels of justice turn. Mike Pence has specifically stated he plans to dismantle as many of these rights as possible. He also supports this lovely thing called ‘conversion therapy’. He believes that you can electrically shock the gay out of people.
He plans on torturing me and my community until we’re in so much pain, we’re willing to lie about who we really are to make it stop.
And it’s not like any of this was news. We’ve all known how terrible Donald Trump is for quite some time. In fact, if there’s one positive thing you can say about Trump, it’s that he’s been very transparent in what his plans for America are, all along. Yet, alarmingly, since waking up this morning, I’ve run into a startling number of people who believe Trump isn’t anti-LGBT. That’s possibly because, prior to running for President, he was pretty moderate on the issue. However, he changed his stance on a lot of issues to get the Republican nomination, which should also tell you something about how dedicated to his word this man is.
But as scared as I am of Trump and Pence, I’m more scared of my fellow Americans. A near majority of my fellow Americans believe this is the kind of world I deserve to live in. They believe all of us “faggots” with our demands for “special rights” should just get AIDS and die. They believe I shouldn’t exist.
These are people I work with. These are people I pass on the street, these are even people I’ve had conversations with on a pretty regular basis.
Perhaps most troublingly, my community is just one of many groups who are scared for their lives now. As a woman, I have a completely separate set of fears based off of the views Trump has repeatedly spewed about our sex, and my friends – who are people of color, disabled, or Muslim – have their own reasons to be afraid as well.
We’re all petrified.
And the last thing we need is you coming out to tell us to “give Trump a chance”, or to read up on his policies, as if you would know better than us – the people directly affected by these very policies, the people who have memorized them nearly verbatim, and prayed they’d never come to fruition.
This is what every person who voted for Trump decided they felt about me, and every member of my community, in addition to many others.
So I’m terrified.
And unless you’re a white man, you probably should be too.
Comment: Do you agree Trump’s win is bad news for the LGBT community, women and people of different ethnicities and religions?