So, you voted for Trump. And you claim to love someone who is gay. Well, here’s why you may not be hearing from them as much.
You see, your vote for Trump really says this to a gay person: “You’re less than I am. I deserve more rights than you. You are a sick aberration that can be “healed” through gay conversion therapy. You—along with anyone of color—are lesser.”
Gays are a minority—yes, even the white ones—and they are able to view the world from an empathetic point of view. As people who have experienced hate and loathing, discrimination and physical attacks, they can’t view a vote for Trump as anything other than your validation of all those very things.
They view a vote for Trump as a vote for permission to be an arrogant, racist, xenophobic, misoginist bully—permission to grab you, or your wife, your sister, your daughter “by the pussy.” They watch the news and see hate crimes have increased—“White Power” hate crimes among them, touting Trump’s victory. Suicide hotlines calls have increased—particularly among LGBTQ community. You see, for gays, it’s like watching a movie about the signs of the impending end of civilization.
Like the majority of Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton, they know this wasn’t a simple race between two parties running on opposing platforms. It was about sane-thinking, equality and progressive ideas vs. “great” and “tremendous” ways to allow straight white people to be classified at a higher level than anyone else (for example, Jews and gays vs. Aryans). The very civilized gay will liken Trump to a Hunn walking into a dinner party—raping and plundering. They are sickened by it. And they are heartbroken that someone who claims to love them would take an action that is interpreted as the exact opposite.
They’ll tell you it’s the dumbing down of America at is its finest. Non-specific promises that are impossible to fulfill: the wall, bringing manufacturing jobs back, defeating ISIS because he “knows more than the generals.” And at the crux of it for them is: “how do I forgive anyone who voted for Trump because it was a vote against my human and civil rights.”
Sure, you may balk. “Trump won’t do anything like that. He just wants to make America great again.” But they’ll tell you, “what he means is making America white (and straight) again. And if he doesn’t see it through, his gay hating, racist Vice President will surely see to it himself.”
Your gay friends or family will tell you voting for Trump is not only a vote against LGBTQ rights, but also against women’s reproductive rights, against the rights of minorities as citizens of the United States. It was a vote for Muslim registration. It was a vote for racism. It was a vote against human rights.
And they will tell you they are dumbfounded, and profoundly saddened.
And at what gain, they’ll ask? The country is inarguably in the best position its been in in modern history. Jobs have been created. Millions of people have health insurance who didn’t have it before. The US auto industry is intact. We came back from the the biggest recession since the Great Depression. And if Obama didn’t actually do it, it was because of him it was done. “Oh, right,” your gay friend will say, “Obama is black so you don’t count any of his successes.”
They’ll tell you that you have fundamentally changed you’re relationship with them. And as they struggle to recover from such an acrid act, laughter will be shared less. Visits fewer and farther between. They’ll tell you they have no choice but to withhold the best of themselves from you. Because your vote was an assault on who they are as human beings. It has changed something; perhaps killed something.
“That’s not what I voted for!” you might say.
“It absolutely is,” they will reply. “We live in two very different Americas. And I don’t feel welcome in yours. Just watch. And when hate crimes continue to escalate and racism proliferates and my rights are threatened, the only person I can blame is the one you see when you pass a mirror.”
“Are we done?” you’ll ask. “You’ll never speak to me again?”
“No, we aren’t done,” they’ll say. “But I had to make you aware of how your actions have threatened me…and millions of others…while I’m allowed to.”
Also published on Medium.