“Pride has always been political, but it’s never been partisan.” was the claim that Mathew Craffey made to NPR to explain why LGBT Trump supporters are upset that Pride marches around the country this year are set up to protest the current administration in addition to celebrating the community’s victories.
Sure, Pride has never been partisan. It was never meant to be. It was a means to let out frustration at whatever happened to be impacting the community’s ability to enjoy lives as safe as any other American. Both parties were responsible for the political side of issues facing the community, and protesting against both parties made perfect sense, since nobody was really fighting for LGBT people.
It wasn’t just Pride. Every LGBT event was overwhelmingly political, because our very existence has always been political… until recently.
The last few years have seen Pride go from a protest against the entire political system, to a protest against specific policies and occasionally a specific politician (Pat McCrory was pretty unpopular when Charlotte celebrated Pride last August, for example).
To Trump supporters, this reboot of protest isn’t fair to the Trump administration, and for anyone who doesn’t know their history, this probably seems like a fair complaint. But what Trump supporters and their allies are forgetting is that Pride only stopped protesting the federal executive leaders in 2012. That was the year that Obama finally publicly supported gay marriage (Thanks to his daughters).
Pride protested George W. Bush. Pride protested Bill Clinton. Pride protested George Bush Sr. and Ronald Reagan. It’s not about partisanship. It’s about whether a president happens to be our ally or our enemy.
“But Caitlyn Jenner voted for him!”
Okay, okay. What Caitlyn Jenner does is her own business, but if she thought Trump would be an ally for the community, she was so, so wrong.
About a month after taking office, the Trump administration revoked the Obama administration’s executive order protecting transgender students. A month after that, he revoked another Obama era order that required companies applying for federal contracts to have LGBT protection policies in place. He nominated anti-gay judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court (the only thing in the country that has the ability to overturn the Obergefell ruling). He also picked Betsy DeVos, a Christian extremist who knows nothing about schools, to be his education secretary, and her relationship with the LGBT community can be described with the words, “shaky at best.” His American Health Care Act could also cut funding to Planned Parenthood, an organization which provides LGBT-inclusive sex education.
“Well, what about the rainbow flag?”
Oh, the one that a gay Trump supporter handed him during a rally? That was cute. I’ll admit it gave me a small piece of hope. Even if Trump’s support for the LGBT community is purely symbolic, at least it shows we’re making progress, right? We’re no longer a politically volatile subject, breached only by people like a former Burlington, Vermont mayor or by a San Francisco city supervisor at their own risk.
Well, let’s see how Trump reached out during Pride month, then.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2017
Hey, that was a good message. Presidential, minus the all caps. No attack on anyone. It’s not what we’ve come to expect of the President’s Tweets but I’ll accept it. Let’s see, what else did he do with respect to the LGBT community this month?
Oh…. okay then. Well, what about the White House’s official statement?
I haven’t been able to find it. Here’s a link to whitehouse.gov, the statements and releases section. Let me know if something turns up.
Oh, and for anyone who might be wondering, here’s a link to Obama’s Proclamation from 2016, where he said, “LGBT individuals deserve to know their country stands beside them.”
Does our country stand beside us? Are they willing to stand up to a president who doesn’t?
I hope so.