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“Trump Is the Most Pro-Gay President Ever”

A sobering look at 45’s anti-LGBTQ record.

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President Donald Trump poses with an LGBTQ Pride flag at a campaign rally in 2016 (AP Photo/Evan Vucci).

In a video posted by the Log Cabin Republicans, a.k.a. “The Patty Hearsts of the Republican Party,” Richard Grenell, the gay, former Trump-appointed ambassador to Germany and (for three months) the acting director of national intelligence, made the case for why he thinks Trump is “the most pro-gay President in American history.” In the video, Grenell mentioned the word “gay” fifteen times, while “lesbian” or “LGBT” was only heard three times. His message was clearly crafted to hit one core audience: white, gay, cisgender men. So as a member of his intended audience, I would like to respond:

First of all, Dick, (I can call you Dick, right?) thank you for pandering directly to me. No one ever takes into account what rich, white, gay, cisgender men are thinking. Our day has finally arrived! This whole summer has been a bust ever since the “China virus” arrived. I was talking to my friends at a Fire Island Fourth of July dance party with DJ Sickennnning, and we are all completely over being ignored. It is good to hear that Trump continues to have our backs. Am I right, Dick? 

Dick, I want to dive into Trump’s extensive “pro gay” record, which you detail in your video. Let’s break it down:

  • Trump appointed you as the first openly gay Acting Director of National Intelligence, a cabinet position. Wow. History making. I can’t wait to hear more about all of your accomplishments from February 2020 to May 2020, when you served. You mentioned in the video that Democratic nominee Joe Biden didn’t bother congratulating you on your appointment. Perhaps your voicemail hadn’t been set up before your storied tenure ended?
  • Trump appointed you as Ambassador to Germany. You weren’t the first openly gay ambassador, but you certainly were a gay ambassador, and that certainly improved my lived experience, probably. I am not being hyperbolic when I say this, but it’s like you threw the first brick at Stonewall. Where’s your statue in Greenwich Village? 
  • Trump opposes Hezbollah, which is supported by the homophobic Iranian regime. While I do think it is great that the Trump administration opposes Hezbollah, that’s probably not the most persuasive of your five great points. Technically, 31 other countries around the world condemn or oppose Hezbollah, at least in part. As for the United States, we designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in 1995. Hey, that’s when Hillary’s husband was president! Lock her up! LOLZ. Remember that?!
  • Trump backed out of the Iran nuclear deal. Okay, I am confused. You see, I thought he backed out of this because of many, many complicated reasons involving Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons and America’s need to defend itself. There are some other details about oil production and Iran’s relationship with Russia, too. But I guess, according to you, it was primarily to support gay Americans. A nice gesture, but also potentially very dangerous, no? Finally (and this is the big one) . . .
  • Trump told the United Nations that he opposed laws currently in place in 69 other nations that criminalize being gay or lesbian. This sounds big, especially since they can kill you for being gay in some of those countries. This sounded big when Obama said it at the UN in 2011, and when Hillary Clinton made a historic speech before the UN about LGBTQ rights being human rights in December of that same year. Ugh, Hillary again! Lock her up! I am curious what Trump has done to address the murder and persecution of gay and bisexual men in Chechnya, but I get it—your video was only four minutes. I am sure I can google that.

Aaaaaaaaaand. . . that’s all you have, Dick? 

Gosh, now that I am seeing this in writing, it doesn’t look like much. In fact, it looks like a bunch of stuff that was already being done by Democrats for years before Trump took office. And in the case of pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, it looks like it might actually be dangerous. I am sure I am missing something. So let’s look at your proof about how Joe Biden HATES gay people: 

  • As a Senator in 1993, Biden supported Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. This is true, and very damaging. However (and I am pretty sure I am right about this), didn’t Biden help lead on the legislation to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in 2010 when he was vice president? I could be mistaken. (Never mind, I am not. I just googled it.) Yes, Biden was the first in the Obama administration to give a definitive timeline on when the law would be repealed, and it was repealed.
  • As a Senator in 1996, Biden supported the Defense of Marriage Act. This is also true. But wasn’t Biden also the first nationally elected official to say publicly that he supported marriage equality? It wasn’t convenient timing, either, as it was right before his re-election and before President Obama revealed that he had “evolved” on the issue. Also, wasn’t it the Obama/Biden administration that wrote amicus briefs in support of overturning DOMA and legalizing same-sex marriage in 2013 and 2015, respectively? (I just Googled it. It was.)
  • As a Senator in 1994, Biden said he would support cutting funding to schools that portrayed homosexuality as a positive lifestyle. This is also true, and very damaging. But this position also predates his largely progressive work for “gay rights.” And remember that school curricula are developed in large part by each individual state, so federal funding isn’t a large part of those budgets. However, as Vice President, Biden did support gender-affirming school policies and important federal civil-rights laws that have largely been reversed by (hold on while I google it . . .) DONALD TRUMP! 

Okay, so I am looking at Joe Biden’s record on “gay rights.” I will admit that Joe has had some problems in the past, but he went on to play a pivotal role in turning that past around. That’s more than we can say for our boy Trump, Dick!

Maybe we should look at Trump’s record on lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer rights. Maybe he will do better in those categories. Here’s what Google came up with:

  1. Trump opposes the Equality Act.
  2. Trump is supportive of anti-LGBTQ discimination in the workplace.
  3. Trump banned transgender service members from the military.
  4. Trump rolled back LGBTQ non-discrimination practices in the Department of Justice.
  5. Trump’s Department of Labor issued rules allowing federal contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ workers.
  6. Trump kicked service members living with HIV out of the military.
  7. Trump created an HHS division that would defend doctors refusing service to LGBTQ patients.
  8. Trump proposed a $1.3 billion cut in funding for AIDS research abroad.
  9. Trump’s Department of Education reversed gender-affirming guidelines for transgender students in public schools.
  10. Trump threatened to withhold federal funding to schools that allow transgender students to participate in sports consistent with their gender identity.
  11. Trump allowed emergency shelters to deny access to gender-nonconforming and transgender individuals.
  12. Trump allowed prisons to place transgender people in cellblocks inconsistent with their gender identity.
  13. Trump allowed the foster-care system to discriminate against LGBTQ parents and still receive taxpayer funding.
  14. Trump refused visas to same-sex partners of diplomats.
  15. Trump changed the rules allowing children carried by surrogate mothers to become citizens.

Wowzers, Dick, this doesn’t look great. This is a list of fifteen not-very-pro-gay (or for that matter, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer) things I’ve found, and there are many, many more. I must say, I am disappointed to learn how terrible Trump has been for gay people like me, and apparently for the L, B, T, and Q people, too! Well, important food for thought. Thanks for the propaganda. Your rainbow MAGA hat looks like shit.

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Ryan Leach

Ryan Leach is a frequent contributor to OutSmart magazine. Follow him on Medium at www.medium.com/@ryan_leach.

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