Here we are, just one week out from the most consequential presidential election since 1860. There appears to be no shortage of gay men who will not only vote against their own best interests, but against the rest of us in the LGBTQ+ community. In recent weeks, there have been very loud, very public “Trump Pride” rallies in cities like Tampa, Florida and Nashville, Tennessee, during which attendees have gathered to extol President Trump as an “ally” of gays, lesbians, and people of trans experience. Not content to merely hold rallies for Trump, they have taken to making baseless accusations against the Democratic Party, including a vile suggestion that it advocates executing LGBTQ people. For reasons better understood by themselves than by me and many other gay men, these “gay Trumpers”, like chickens voting for Chick-Fil-A, or Dracula voting for Van Helsing, declare they are “100% on board” with the President.
They cling to this self-loathing stance even though Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine and reverse the rights of LGBTQ Americans during his time in office. The Gay And Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has created the landmark Trump Accountability Project, which has meticulously documented all of the White House’s deliberate, carefully planned assaults on LGBTQ+ people. The list is painfully long, and ranges from Trump’s summary ban on trans troops in the military to creating a “Denial Of Care” rule allowing doctors, nurses, and hospitals to refuse treatment to LGBTQ+ patients based on their “moral or religious beliefs”. This is, and I’m looking squarely at YOU, gay Trumpers, to say nothing of Mike Pence, our Vice President, who, as governor of Indiana, cheerfully signed a “Turn Away The Gays” law permitting individuals and businesses to deny goods and services to us. This was Trump’s choice as his running mate.
Gay Trumpers stubbornly cling to the self-destructive delusion that somehow, the man who just appointed Amy Coney Barrett, a former trustee at a school with virulently anti-gay policies, to the highest court in America, has their safety in mind. Yet, reality tells a very different story. Trump knows that a 6–3 conservative supermajority in the Supreme Court would swiftly roll back all the hard-fought gains LGBTQ America has won over the past thirty years. It would be well for gay Trumpers to consider that marriage equality, made legal nationwide just five years ago by a Supreme Court decision, will likely be overturned, in step with the GOP’s longstanding agenda (their official party platform still opposes same-sex marriage and endorses harmful “conversion therapy”).
Groups like the Log Cabin Republicans, who have never been accepted by the mainstream GOP, doggedly clamor for a leader who will happily see his lopsided SCOTUS reverse Lawrence v. Texas, the watershed decision that decriminalized homosexuality a mere seventeen years ago. If you think that can’t happen, consider that four years ago, most Americans didn’t think Trump could happen. Yet these willing sycophants keep supporting a President who would see them in chains, for being who they are, without batting an eye.
Oh, and all their feckless noisemaking is built on the shoulders of countless liberal LGBTQ activists who struggled, and marched, and agitated, and voted, and took public office, so that these turncoats could throw their lot in with a demagogue who cares not an atom or a tittle for our rights or our lives. The ghosts of Stonewall, Milk, Rustin, Lorde, Baldwin, Shilts, Roberts, Hansberry, and Siluwe must surely be full of rage that after all they gave to bring us to a better future, some of us are helping those who would hurl us back into the dark, hostile past.
What, gay Trumpers, will you say when we can no longer marry those we love? When we are sex offenders once again, merely because of our love for other consenting adults? When we die because some doctor or hospital objects to treating us? When none of us can defend our country while living in our truth? What will you say to the rest of us — to me — when we’re all sitting in the gulag, because you helped enable those who acted against us? What, in the end, will you have to say for yourselves?