The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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Trump's Pride Tweets Explained: Be Grateful We Don't Execute You


Unlike his recent predecessors or challenger in the 2016 election, President Trump has never issued a proclamation commemorating LGBTQ Pride. He has yet to do so, but today issued tweets that supposedly honor the contributions of LGBT people, even though he's undermined and reversed progress for equality throughout his presidency. 

Trump's State Department did announce in February it was working to decriminalize homosexuality around the world — Trump himself was completely unaware of the plan — though we've seen little progress since then. In fact, Trump said nothing when Brunei enacted a new law that could result in stoning people to death for engaging in gay sex (after an outcry, the Brunei government said it won't enforce the law, but will keep it on the books as a warning). 

The president and his administration love to point out the discrimination that LGBTQ people face in other parts of the world, especially in Muslim nations like Iran. As Out's Mathew Rodriguez pointed out, this is an "old racist tactic."

"[U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell's] sudden interest in Iran’s antigay laws is strikingly similar to Trump’s rhetoric after the 2016 Pulse massacre in Orlando, Fla.," Rodriguez wrote. "After the deadly shooting, Trump used the 49 deaths as a way to galvanize support for an anti-Muslim agenda rather than find a way to support LGBTQ+ people. In pushing for immigration restrictions and a Muslim ban, Trump argued, he was the true pro-LGBTQ+ candidate. Rather than honor those who died, Trump used the tragedy as a way to stoke fear among the American people, and Grenell is taking similar actions with Iran — trying to reach an economic goal by painting the administration’s opponent as antigay."

For everyone who may have forgotten, Trump, unlike Hillary Clinton, never once visited the Pulse nightclub, even though he campaigned across the street.

It's simply laughable — insulting, really — for Trump to try to honor LGBTQ achievements in this nation. He has not just ignored LGBTQ rights, he's gone out of its way to appease his far-right followers by reversing them. Trump has done some of the damage obliquely by installing anti-LGBTQ Supreme Court justices (Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh), many antigay and anti-trans lower court judges, a homophobic secretary of State (Mike Pompeo) and chief of staff (Mick Mulvaney), all while the nation's most famous homophobe and transphobe serves as his vice-president (Mike Pence). 

Trump has also directly attacked the LGBTQ community by vowing to veto the Equality Act, rolling back protections for trans students, implementing a ban on trans people in the military, issuing an order allowing religiously affiliated health care providers to discriminate against LGBTQ patients, and stating he's fine with businesses discriminating against LGBTQ people. In all, GLAAD has counted 110 instances of Trump targeting the LGBTQ community.

"Actions speak louder than words," GLAAD stated in a press release. "This is a cheap political play and we see right through it. Your administration has attacked the rights of LGBTQ people more than 100 times. Attention media: It’s your responsibility to tell the real truth about President Donald Trump’s record on LGBTQ issues."

Trump's words are clear — disregard everything I've done to you, just be appreciative we don't jail you or hang you from a noose.

Tags: News, Pride, Voices

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