By D’Anne Witkowski
Great news, everybody! Donald Trump is not planning to rescind President Obama’s 2014 executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against LGBTQ people. I repeat, he has said he is not yanking those protections away.
So let’s all celebrate Trump, American LGBTQ Savior. Let us grovel at his feet and kiss his rings for sparing us from his mighty wrath. Because he definitely expects praise and thanks for this brave and noble act of not doing something that he could do because he’s the president, God help us all.
In a statement from the White House regarding Trump’s decision to not take away rights from LGBTQ workers he makes it clear that he totally could if he wanted to, but won’t because of how good he is at presidenting. In other words, the statement was all about him.
“President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community,” the statement began, underlining Trump’s total lack of self-awareness or understanding of irony. But hey, maybe he’s being sincere and he actually will go to the mat for the LGBTQ community. Just not the Muslim ones. Or the brown ones. Or the black ones. Or the Jewish ones. Or the immigrant ones. But you know, other than that, ALL Americans.
“President Trump continues to be respectful and be supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election,” the statement continues.
This is some revisionist history here. You may recall that Trump said he thought the marriage equality decision should be overturned. That’s not exactly supportive or respectful.
“The president is proud to have been the first ever GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech,” reads the statement, “pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression.”
Oh, we KNOW he is proud of saying the letters LGBTQ during his acceptance speech. Somehow he thinks that saying five letters out loud is the same thing as supporting the actual people those letters stand for. And hey, given the Republican track record on LGBTQ issues, maybe that counts in GOP circles. But I’m pretty tired of Trump acting like he’s the grand marshall in a very sad pride parade.
And let’s be clear that he did not pledge to “protect the community from violence and oppression.” He made very clear that this protection was only against “a hateful foreign ideology,” which was really just a backhanded attempt to gin up support for his Muslim ban.
So, no. I am not impressed and I will not thank Trump for sparing some LGBTQ workers their rights. Because this is but a drop in the very anti-LGBTQ ocean that is his entire administration.
I mean, look at his cabinet picks. Jeff Sessions, Betsy DeVos, Mike Pompeo, Tom Price, Mike Flynn, Nikki Haley. None of these people support LGBTQ people and their families. In fact, all of them are opposed to LGBTQ families.
Trump is supposed to announce his Supreme Court nominee this week and there isn’t anyone on the short list who supports LGBTQ issues. In fact, it looks like being anti-LGBTQ was a prerequisite for getting on that list in the first place. Getting an anti-LGBTQ bigot on the Supreme Court bench will have long lasting repercussions for LGBTQ Americans.
So spare me the image of Trump wrapped in the rainbow flag. Don’t let this one piece of positive news blind you to the threat Trump poses to you and your family. Keep marching. Keep protesting. Keep resisting.
D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.