Since Election Day’s numbing conclusion, I’ve been left feeling a host of unwanted emotions, and I’m not the only one. For those of us non-straight folk Trump’s promises and inner circle choices are various levels of unsettling. Ben Carson, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mike Pence and Ken Blackwell are not well known for being gay-friendly; in fact, some of them are quite the opposite. And we’re supposed to believe that The Donald has our backs?
Donald Trump claimed he was pro-LGBT – just ask the gays, y’all! – but based on the people he surrounds himself with, I’m gonna say he still hasn’t learned to tell the truth. Honestly, if I’m about to be chased out of the country, at least let me know I’m not wanted. Trust me, the words won’t come as a surprise. Even before Trump legitimized hate and empowered hate groups, there was anti-LGBT sentiment in this country, with some of it even enshrined in laws created under the guise of religious freedom.
Because an invisible boogieman floating around the sky deserves more rights than a boy who likes boys. I don’t deserve to be safe and happy. I don’t deserve to be seen as another’s equal. I don’t deserve to achieve my dreams. This is what the actions of the GOP – including Trump’s success at winning the electoral college – tries to tell not only me but every person who doesn’t fall into the very narrow list of acceptable sexualities.
I am a freak. I am broken. I need to be fixed. That is Mike Pence’s line. That is Ken Blackwell’s line. That is what I hear every time another oppressive law is passed that allows bigots to practice that bigotry. That is what I hear when some closed-minded conservative claims sexuality is a choice and with a fictional god’s love can be overcome. That is what I hear when a loudmouthed radio host with more affairs and divorces than he can count on both hands screams about those damn gays destroying the sanctity of marriage. I am what’s wrong with the country. Because I am bisexual.
There is violence against those like me. And whether that violence is increased since Trump’s win or is simply being reported more, the fact remains that gay and bi boys’ lives are in danger. That may be nothing new but now it’s inspired by the next president of this country. And by aligning with men and women who would see us extinct, the president-elect has shown himself to be no ally of ours.
If Trump truly wants to be a president for every American, he should rethink his team and the message it sends. He should do more than say he’s for us and show it. And don’t think for a minute him holding an upside down rainbow flag months ago is gonna cut it. Hate hides itself well and can strike when you least expect it. You can’t hurt us then expect us to place our trust in you. Many brave LGBTers have fought long and hard to get us the rights we have and we will not allow anyone to take them away. We will not lie down and take it. We will not let anyone move us backwards. If he does not do us right, we will hold him accountable.
Ugh. Not for the part I didn’t want to have to write.
As y’all know by now, some of my fellow liberals have been protesting since Trump won the election; understandable, I’d say, considering all that his win puts at risk for those of us not part of America’s top tier. While I fully support their constitutional right to speak out, there are some within their numbers who are using it as an excuse for violence; riots have been breaking out and that does no one any good. There have also been attacks on Trump supporters (even suspected Trumpers). That is unacceptable. When you resort to that, you lose the high ground. Remember, we’re supposed to go high. Physical violence is about as low as you can go. Stop it. There’s a disturbing amount of cruelty in this country; don’t add to it. Instead, show love to the opposition and keep hope alive.
There’s also another movement to convince electors to change their votes to Clinton, despite what their states decided. As much as I want Secretary Clinton in the Oval Office, this action strikes me as unconstitutional and dangerous; what happens if the electors do what the petitions ask and place her in the White House? We then have four years of she’s not the real president, she’s illegitimate and we won’t work with her. Remember, the House and Senate are red. They’d jump on that in a second. Also, consider what could happen in the future; imagine a candidate you didn’t want in office ended up there, not by winning the way our laws prescribe but because a few dozen people decide they know better than the rest of us. It’s a risky move. Be sure you want to leave such things open to future exploitation. As much as I hate saying it, Donald Trump is our next president. What we should do is work together to not only stop him from making good on any of his dangerous promises (not that it seems those matter much to him anymore; he’s already gone back on multiple and he hasn’t even assumed office yet) and turn the Senate and House blue come 2018 and elect a progressive in 2020.
It’s a tough time for a lot of us; there’s so much uncertainty, we don’t know what we actually need to worry about. But no matter what the future holds, we will face it and we will overcome however many times we need to fight back against the ugly discrimination that threatens our country, our home. I may be concerned for the future, I may worry that the worst case scenario is the most likely, but deep down inside I know there’s still hope. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have written this. Don’t give up. We will make it through this.