Friday, January 19, 2018

Trump Is Trying to Erase the LGBTQ Community

This blog originated as part of my coming out saga at the recommendation of my therapist who was helping me overcome the emotional and psychological abuse I experienced being raised in a conservative Catholic household. The blog eventually morphed into a LGBT rights and political blog.   Along the way, including the 2008 LGBT Blogger Summit in Washington, DC - underwritten by Microsoft and Progressive Insurance - I had the good fortune to meet a number of amazing LGBT activists and bloggers with whom I have remained in contact over the last almost 10 years.  Over the last almost 12 months, the Trump/Pence regime has waged an unrelenting war against LGBT Americans.  The most recent salvo is the establishment of a "Conscience and Religious Freedom" division of the Department of Health and Human Services which will allow Christofascists who are health care providers or pharmacists to refuse provide services to LGBT individuals, those seeking abortions or who otherwise "offend their religious sensibilities." A piece in Time recommended by one of my activist friends looks at Trump/Pence's efforts to erase the LGBT community and to deny us the rights afforded other citizens.  Here are highlights:
It’s been almost a year to the day since my life – both personally and professionally – changed profoundly. It can only be described as moving from a place of possibility and progress to a nightmare for myself, my family and the LGBTQ community at large.
Personally, under the Obama administration, I stood on the White House lawn with my wife and our twins for the Easter Egg Roll. I attended LGBTQ Pride receptions and helped plan LGBTQ panel discussions at The White House. I celebrated as the White House was lit in a rainbow after marriage equality became law of the land.
More importantly, however, during those years LGBTQ rights and visibility expanded in new, historic and unprecedented ways. In fact, throughout my life there has always been forward motion — albeit sometimes trudging — on LGBTQ rights.
But on January 20th of last year, Donald Trump assumed the presidency of the United States, and since day one – when references to LGBTQ people were purged from the White House website – the LGBTQ community was forced to face a new world order.
The administration’s anti-LGBTQ actions are as numerous as they are insidious. President Trump announced his attempt to ban transgender people from the military, the LGBTQ community was erased from the National Survey of Older Americans, a budget was proposed that cuts funding to HIV and AIDS research, guidance protecting transgender youth in schools was rescinded, World AIDS Day passed without any mention of LGBTQ people and I could go on. But it’s not only about policy, it’s also about culture. Trump is waging a culture war with our communities, the likes of which I have not seen in my lifetime. He aims to roll back rights and protections, but also general acceptance of LGBTQ people in society and culture. The White House was radio silent during LGBTQ Pride Month for the first time in eight years. At GLAAD we wake up and go to work every day to create a culture of visibility and acceptance for LGBTQ people. Think about LGBTQ young people who are just coming out now in an environment where they’re being attacked daily and erased by our own government. That world is not acceptable to us, and we will resist it.
GLAAD and the LGBTQ community have always been fighters – that is our legacy. Everything that our communities have achieved in the course of our history, we have fought for, and this time will be no different.
In response to the administration’s onslaught of erasure and hate, GLAAD created the Trump Accountability Project to hold Trump and those in his administration accountable for their actions and statements. We joined other LGBTQ people in the streets during the Women’s March and protests against the rollback of DACA and the implementation of the travel ban. Our community spoke out when Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and their allies tried to write discrimination into law with “religious exemptions” guidance.
GLAAD also leaked audio of Mark Green, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Army, making discriminatory remarks towards transgender people, which resulted in Green’s decision to withdraw from consideration. And when there were rumblings of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention censoring certain words from their 2018 budgets, including “transgender” and “diversity,” LGBTQ leaders were some of the first to denounce it. We will not be removed. And to those young people coming out right now in this political environment – we have your backs. We will shape the future — our future — together.

Amen to the author's sentiments.  As for "friends" who continue to support Trump/Pence and the vile attacks on people like me and my husband, do not delude yourself into thinking that were are not watching your conduct. The time is coming when your must decide whether you are on the side of hate, ignorance and bigotry or not.  Yes, your friendships are at risk.  And for those friends who are actively resisting the cancer that Trump/Pence and  the Christofascists represent on American society, we must redouble our efforts to defeat Republicans whenever and where ever possible until Trump and Pence and their GOP enablers are driven from office.  To do otherwise will set America on a path akin to what Germany witnessed in the 1930's.  Good and decent people must resist.  Silence is equal to complicity. 

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