By Ryan M. Leach
The 2016 Republican National Convention ended on Thursday night with the nominee, Donald Trump, taking up 74 minutes of air time to tell the people of the United States why they should support him in November. Included in this speech was a shout-out to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community wherein he claimed:
“Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted [the] LGBTQ community. No good. And we’re going to stop it. As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology. Believe me.”
No thank you, I do not believe you.
However, I fear some of my LGBTQ siblings may believe Donald Trump when he says he supports our community. I assure you, and I can’t be any clearer than this: He. Does. Not.
First, let’s look at what he actually said in his speech. He said he would protect the LGBTQ community from the violence and oppression of hateful foreign ideology. So what does that actually mean? Well, let’s look at Orlando, since that was his reference point.
Republicans have sort of glanced over the LGBTQ aspect of the victims in Orlando and instead focused on the terrorism aspect. The murderer who killed those 49 people was born in New York. He was as American as any natural-born citizen. Although he claimed to have killed in the name of ISIS, the terror organization du jour, it hasn’t been shown that he was actually affiliated with them or directed by them to cause this horrible tragedy. What is known is that the man may have been in the closet, and what is likely is that his targeting of this particular bar had more to do with his hatred of LGBTQ people and less so with terrorism.
The shooting in Orlando was the worst thing to happen to America in over a decade. It was tragic. It was horrible. It made me cry for days. But LGBTQ people have been under attack since before Marsha Johnson threw that rock at the Stonewall Inn in the 1960s. Where the LGBTQ community is being attacked on a regular basis is at home. Lawmakers and right-wing conservative groups make it their mission in life to prevent LGBTQ from accessing the same freedom as everyone else. Donald Trump said nothing about protecting our community from them.
But let’s look beyond that. Donald Trump’s running mate is Indiana Governor Mike Pence. He signed into law the first, most anti-LGBTQ law in the country, and his state suffered terribly, losing millions of dollars from the national fallout. He was on track to lose his bid for re-election until Donald Trump pulled him out of the political gutter—or rather pulled him into another gutter. Mike Pence is no friend to the LGBTQ community. He actively legislates against us and contributes to the narrative that we are deviant and bad.
Let’s also look at Republican Donald Trump’s Party Platform, which has been touted as the most antigay party platform ever created in the history of the Republican Party. Highlights include: opposition to marriage equality, nonsense about bathrooms, and an endorsement of the debunked psychological practice of “pray the gay away.”
This is nonsense.
Donald Trump is your friend in the way that Taylor Swift and Katy Perry are friends. They aren’t. So to quote one of the most respected jurists in America, Judge Judy, “Don’t piss on my foot and tell me it’s raining.”