The Trump Administration doesn't care about LGBTQ Americans
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He boldly claimed he would protect LGBTQ people far better than Hillary Clinton would as president, said Caitlyn Jenner, who is transgender, could use whichever bathroom she wanted when visiting Trump Tower, and proudly waved a Pride flag on stage.
When, for example, he was asked about the transgender bathroom access debate, he said: “There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go. They use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble.”
Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2016
However, within a month of taking office, the Trump administration withdrew federal guidance implemented by Obama which said transgender students should have unrestricted access to bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.
This was one of the first of many policy decisions and actions which clearly indicated that President Trump and his administration were not focused on bettering the lives of LGBTQ people or ensuring the protection of their basic rights.
In fact, as months have passed the Trump administration has sought to reverse or implement policies that seek to exclude or disadvantage the LGBTQ community.
Through their actions, words and the policies, they try to push through, the Trump administration is sending a message that LGBTQ lives do not matter, and this message is dangerous.
Effectively by disregarding the basic rights of LGBTQ people they are making it seem acceptable to be discriminatory. Whatsmore, they are impacting on the quality of people's lives through implementing - or attempting to implement - regressive policies.
These are just a few of the things that have happened over the past months under the Trump administration:
January 20th: LGBTQ content removed from the official White House website.When the Trump administration took over the official White House website - WhiteHouse.gov - it removed all the LGBTQ pages, including the page on the Office of National AIDS Policy. While some people claimed this was simply a normal transitionary step and the pages would be updated to be in line with the new administration's views, nearly eleven months later there is still no LGBTQ content. When you try to access www.whitehouse.gov/lgbt you’re simply redirected to a page which reads: “Thank you for your interest in this subject. STAY TUNED AS WE CONTINUE TO UPDATE WHITEHOUSE.GOV.”
Trump is not the president of the LGBT American either; every mention of the term “LGBT” has been removed from the White House website. pic.twitter.com/2mC4vdpiPR— Ric Roberts2144 (@RicRoberts2144) 2 June 2017
February 22nd: Federal protections for transgender students withdrawn.The Obama administration implemented guidance which stated transgender students should be given access to bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity but these guidelines were lifted under the Trump administration.
Just seeing the news about removing laws protecting trans people. This isn’t about politics. It’s about human rights, and it’s not okay.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) 23 February 2017
Transgender rights advocates criticised the move, saying the guidance was imperative in ensuring the protection of transgender students from discrimination.
March 16th: The Department of State sends two anti-LGBTQ groups to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.Two groups that oppose LGBT equality and women’s rights laws - The Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM) and Heritage Foundation - were sent as part of America’s official delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
C-FAM has been labeled a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center due to its extremist views and violent rhetoric.
March 27th: Trump signs an executive order that weakens protections for LGBTQ workers.
When he was president, Obama created an executive order in 2014 which would prohibit the federal government from contracting with firms that discriminated against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Effectively the order would help protect a lot of LGBTQ people from employment discrimination.
Obama went on to create another executive order, 14 days after this one, which required firms contracted by the federal government to prove they were complying with his first order and being fair to LGBTQ employees.
Trump rescinded this second order.
This effectively means protections for LGBTQ workers are now weakened because these companies now don’t have to provide proof that they’re not discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
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July 26th: Trump announces he’s banning transgender men and women from serving in the military
Under President Obama, and following a year-long study, former Defense Secretary Ash Carter made the decision to allow transgender individuals to serve openly in the military in 2016.
By ending the ban on transgender service members, “we’re eliminating policies that can result in transgender service members being treated differently from their peers based solely upon their gender identity, rather than their ability to serve,” Carter said.
In July Trump decided to revoke this policy decision, making the announcement on Twitter.
"We've had thousands of people working for a couple of years on this policy, and this policy is totally uplifted and thrown away with a tweet? That's amazingly poor leadership,” activist and retired US Navy Seal, Kristin Beck, told Sky News in July. "What happens to all these people who currently serve, who were told it is okay to come out, it is okay to serve openly as transgender?"
Put simply, President Trump isn't the woke Republican people were promised.
In recent years America has made huge strides towards LGBTQ equality but with President Trump at the helm things have been taking a step backward.The Trump administration doesn't care about LGBTQ people. Of course, there are many, many more things that have happened under the Trump administration that have been implicitly anti-LGBTQ as well as repeated ignoring of the LGBTQ community in general and the appointment of anti-LGBTQ individuals to key positions. The Trump administration - as evidenced above - has so far been disastrous for the LGBTQ community but what I believe is one of the most harmful things they have done is to reinforce the stigma against LGBTQ people. LGBTQ teenagers are four times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts, this is something that needs to be tackled but how can it possibly be tackled effectively under Trump? Social stigma is damaging, it can make people reluctant or scared to ‘come out’ and make those that do feel shameful, embarrassed and afraid. The normalisation of this stigma will, in my opinion, only make the lives of LGBTQ people more difficult and lead to an increase in mental health issues within the LGBTQ community. This will be particularly detrimental to teenagers who are already more vulnerable and likely to suffer from poor mental health. It should never be made to seem acceptable to be prejudiced or discriminatory to anyone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, however, when the American president and his administration is doing just that a dangerous example is being set. Instead of being the friend he said he was, Trump has used his powers not to advance the lives of LGBTQ people but to alienate the LGBTQ community, to make their lives harder, to try and remove their basic rights and ultimately through his actions - and sometimes inaction - he has given a message that seems to say "you have no worth" and "you are not welcome here." It's not hard to see, President Trump and his administration doesn't really care about LGBTQ Americans. This is why it's more important than ever that people who are outside of the LGBTQ community come together to stand against this hate and erasure. To offer support, solidarity, and respect and not simply stand by ideally when Trump attempts to cut the basic rights of LGBTQ people and enforce regressive policies. As Desmond Tutu once said, "if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."