There is no question, the United States Government under the leadership of Donald Trump has aligned themselves as relentless enemies of all LGBTQ people in America.
The Trump administration have gone to great lengths to make life more difficult and dangerous for LGBTQ+ people living in America. He has banned transgender people from the military, established a new branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services called the Religious Freedom and Moral Conscience Division which permits healthcare providers such as Nurses, Doctors and First Responders to refuse treatment to patients based on their perceived sexual orientation or gender. The Trump Administration has also sued the United States Congress to eliminate civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ people. The Supreme Court is set to rule in June on whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act excludes protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Trump has already signed an executive order that gives the right to Federal contractors to deny insurance coverage for same sex spouses or refuse to hire them altogether citing religious exemption. To compound this, Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is working on a plan to funnel more taxpayer dollars to anti-gay educational institutions. In 2017, DeVos rescinded Obama-era protections for transgender students in public schools that allowed them access to bathrooms that match their actual gender.
Today, Trump erased civil rights protections for LGBTQ people, removing all requirements that once enforced nondiscrimination rules from Federal grants recipients and applicants. The most vulnerable of the community will be severely affected by this decision. Now, homeless shelters, adoption agencies, free clinics that serve HIV positive patients and those with other sexually transmitted diseases, drug abuse rehabilitation programs, health professional training and youth support services can all refuse to serve the LGBTQ+ community. Sick or disabled LGBTQ+ people can now be removed from federally subsidized programs that help the impoverished pay for their housing, utility bills or medications.
Simultaneously, Trump moved to allow discrimination in Medicare and Medicaid programs through the roll-back of an Obama-era rule that had protected transgender people from discrimination in health care which will prevent trans folks from having access to physical and mental health treatment specific to their needs despite studies showing alarmingly high rates of suicide within that community.
As religious extremism takes a stronghold on the political arena, these discriminatory- if not altogether deadly- removal of basic human rights are to placate the largest segment of Trump’s voter base: Evangelical Christians.
Historically, government leaders have used a plethora of terrifying tactics to cleanse the populace of those they deemed undesirable. Words like Gas Chambers still send chills up the spine as we recall stories of the Holocaust. Trump and his administration are weaponizing legislation to achieve the same result. Make no mistake, as a direct result of these series of heinous attacks on this community will result in countless deaths as we are erased from society, left to struggle in financial peril, unable to access equal or adequate healthcare or find ourselves homeless and jobless in increasing numbers. Take into account the spike in violent hate motivated crimes emboldened by Trump’s divisive rhetoric and legitimizing of dehumanizing language by showing solidarity with aggressively anti-LGBTQ+ organizations and speaking at anti-LGBTQ+ events like The Value Voters Summit and our future looks terrifyingly bleak. We must accept that we live in a country where we are not just unrepresented by our leaders, but a victim of their strategising against us and placing us deliberately in the path of harm by making it difficult for us to thrive and dangerous for us to live in our own home country.
As a result of the Electoral College and district gerrymandering, experts predict Trump will win a second term in 2020, leaving LGBTQ+ Americans walking on eggshells, uncertain about what is next to come down the Trump administration pipeline.