I have had readers ask me about the liberties I say are at risk of being removed by the current administration. We see these inequalities daily and part of me thinks we have become desensitized to it. One moment we see where Trump tweets that he is enacting a transgender ban on the military and then a few months later we read an article where it supposedly states that he actually doesn’t agree with what he tweeted. What’s even worse is that in this age of cell phone video where everything is collated online, how someone can believe they can make a statement saying one thing then absolutely refuse to admit that they made it six months later is preposterous. (Insert any Trump statement here…) Let’s take a look at a few articles that show where our rights may be at risk of being lost or even how bad some of the opposition we face is.
Where were you in July of 2017? Most of us may not remember but President Trump seems to have an even harder time remembering what he tweeted. Has anyone shown him that he has a timeline to review his posts? In fact, he actually tweeted that he had conversations with “his” generals and came to the conclusion that the need to ban transgender people from serving in the military would be less distracting and more cost effective. Stating that transgender medical procedures were a drain on military resources. The truth is far more outlandish, the USA Today reported in 2019 that the actual cost that “medical treatment for trans service members over a period of three years amounted to about 0.00001% of the military’s overall budget for one year.” The scarier part is that the military currently spends $41.6 million a year on Viagra for their soldiers. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) stated on a recent interview with The View that the president and himself both support the participation of our trans military persons, the same Gaetz that backed the president when he made his claims of saving money and resources by not having them serve.
Politics is a huge arena for anti LGBTQ rhetoric, and it covers a wide range of issues. People love to voice the opinions about what they feel is socially acceptable. Here we have a story about an out gay retired school principal that was witness to many people spouting their hatred over the thoughts of their kids being taught about LGBTQ people in history. Gerald Lyons, school board member for Jersey City, New Jersey, listened to three hours of anti-gay rhetoric about a purposed curriculum that had already been approved the previous year. These leaders said things like Harvey Milk was a pedophile that accomplished nothing with is career, that Dr Martin Luther King, Jr would be turning over in his grave at the thought of LGBTQ being included in his “I Have a Dream” speech. They went further to say that the school should teach the truths such as the majority of HIV and Syphilis infections come from “homosexual activities.” When Lyons finally had his chance to speak, he was intimidated and stared at and when he asked if he could continue his speech, he was then labeled a “Nazi-pig.”
An Arkansas Republican Senator went so far as to say that funding to public television should be denied because actor Billy Porter was to be on Sesame Street. Senator Jason Rapert fully believes that his appearance on this program is part of a “radical LGBTQ agenda” and he posted this to his Facebook account. “I can pass a bill to cutoff all funding for the rebroadcast of PBS programming through AETN and also stop all funding for AETN altogether if necessary,” he wrote. He feels giving Porter, who is known for his gender bending fashion, a place on the program is a step too far, equating Sesame Street allowing Porter to be on the show as a political threat to the educational well- being of the state. Rapert further believes that allowing Porter on the show teaches children to become drag queens and ultimately will lead kids to becoming transgender and end up committing suicide. Who knew that Billy Porter had such power over the youths of America? I surely hope that he uses that power for the good of LGBTQ-kind.
Lastly, I offer you more confusion for our dear president. (if you notice, I do not capitalize it. To do so is giving respect to someone who has no respect.) In 2018, Richard Grenell was appointed as the Ambassador to Germany and is also an out gay man. Trump has since made him the acting Director of National Intelligence. Grenell has been an avid supporter of the Trump administrations since his first appointment and is currently the only openly LGBTQ person to serve in such a high position in the Government. Even with Grenell supporting Trump’s anti-gay agenda and defending Pence, and other right-wing figures, from claims of bigotry and homophobia isn’t enough to quiet the dissent of other Republicans. They feel he is a “gay activist first and a loyal Republican second.” Grenell isn’t without his faults. On the one hand he is an advocate for decriminalizing homosexuality in 70 countries, on the other he has said that Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was creating “a hate hoax along the lines of Jussie Smollett.” As far as his decriminalizing homosexuality in 70 countries, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) feels that it wasn’t up to par and wasn’t clear if they were actually doing any work for progress. Grenell has also been in the news of misogynistic remarks he made prior to his appointment to Ambassador of Germany.
Our world is a dangerous place, in many countries it is still acceptable forms of punishment to put LGBTQ people to death. Our own country has made many great strides in creating equality for our people however it is still an uphill battle on a very slippery slope. We are in the midst of a battlefield where even the sides aren’t always so cut and dry. We have LGBTQ people who support an administration that has removed rights from us and continue to find ways to strip more. In four years, we have watched an elected official talk out the side of his neck about support and then the other side in the need to remove protections for LGBTQ youth. Old arguments of yester-year still surface to plague us, calling us pedophiles and the reasons that diseases are so rampant. We have become a society that is force fed information in such small bytes that are spun in ways to make us believe whatever is important at the time. When will we wake up and start forming our own opinions based on research we have done? When will be start fighting for our own rights and not be dependent on those who have their own hidden agendas? The world is not a safe place, predators are everywhere.