So June 2017 has come and gone without an official Pride proclamation from the president — something that occurred every year under Barack Obama, who also honored Pride with a jubilant (sometimes contentious) White House ceremony that he attended with the First Lady.
Much is being made of Trump's refusal to acknowledge Pride — especially one year after dozens of us were slaughtered in the nation's worst mass shooting — but it seems fitting. Trump's silence confirms once again the whole "LGBT ally" claim is an absolute farce, backed up by nothing but a craven attempt to use the queer community as pawns in his never-ending war against the Islamic religion.
The fact that many in our community still claim Trump as an ally, basically because he's an Islamophobe, rings more hollow than ever. Even eight months after the election, the constant comparisons to Hillary Clinton's LGBT record are laughably trotted out in tweets and Facebook comments by Trump supporters. It's odd that his supporters still neglect the fact that Trump remains opposed to marriage equality and more offensively, never bothered to pay respects to the 49 Pulse victims, even when he visited Orlando last year. While Clinton laid flowers at the Pulse site — something I was reminded of when she tweeted her Pride well-wishes this year — Trump couldn't be bothered; he was too busy attending an anti-LGBT conference across town.
Typical Pride month tweets from Clinton and Trump:
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 25, 2017
...to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2017
Now that Trump "won" — if you can call capturing the Electoral College with a big assist by a foreign power "winning" or refer to a man who tweets lies about face-lifts as a "president" — he's been even more of a nightmare for our community (and the world at large, of course). His failures and embarrassments are too long to list, but when it comes to setting back the clock on LGBT equality, his assault on trans rights is enough to silence anyone who still proposterously proclaims him an ally. Trump quickly installed a lifetime homophobe/transphobe — who may be either treasonous or senile — as attorney general. Jeff Sessions's lies are as brazen as Trump's; one side of his mouth promises to protect trans people from crime while the other side makes it easier for trans youth to become targets in their own schools.
In between vile tweets that attempt to discredit the media (a classic dictator trick), Trump is busy placating the evangelical phoneys who showed up in droves to support his lecherous butt in November. The "president" is stacking the courts with relics of the past who will follow the lead of courts in Arkansas and Texas — judges in both states tried to invalidate same-sex marriages by making the rights that go along with them null and void.
Trump's stolen Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch is a smiling wolf-in-sheep's clothing; a man who Democratic senators saw right through as they tried desperately to stop his confirmation. Heralded by Trump's VP — the ultimate homophobe, Mike Pence — Gorsuch checked all the anti-LGBT boxes in his first decisions, ruling against a lesbian couple in Arkansas and for Trump's insidious Muslim ban, which is putting the lives of LGBT refugees at risk.
So, no Trump didn't acknowledge the struggles or accomplishments of LGBT people. But in June's last hours, he did give us the middle finger — his Defense Secretary announced he was delaying integration of trans troops for six months, though don't be surprised if it's indefinitely.
So, thank you "President" Trump for not embarrassing us by pretending to care about our lives (or anyone other than yourself). It would have been just one more lie.
NEAL BROVERMAN is executive editor of The Advocate. Follow him on Twitter at @nbroverman.