Stonewall Pride in a Trump World

Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.

That tweet from Presidential candidate Donald Trump in June of 1916 now stands as an indelible reflection of what a blatant liar the 45th President of the United States is. As Log Cabin Republicans bend over backwards in a feat worthy of a circus contortionist to continue to label Donald Trump as the most “gay friendly” Republican in history, it demonstrates exactly why Pride Festivals in the United States continue to grow in size and importance each year.

While the President may not be the most anti-gay Republican in Washington, he is by no means a friend of our community. He is a two-faced businessman posing as a politician that clearly has only one agenda in mind—Donald J. Trump. First, last, and always, the Trump administration is about its leader—and, in this day and age of weekly resignations and firings—the only one who matters.

Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders and their Straight Allies? You are road-kill to an administration that would prefer to genuflect to racist bigots and religious zealots than work on benefits or protections for any marginalized minorities—be they Black, Latino, Asian, Indian, and certainly the LGBT community.

As we put on our multicolor party hats and flock to Wilton Manors, Florida, on Saturday, June 16th to parade down Wilton Drive, there will be a message each of us will have on display by the mere visibility of our attendance. It is no longer enough to show pride in who you are or what you support, it is essential to demonstrate that you will not be ignored, repressed, or treated as second-class citizens in a first-class country.

Make no mistake. We are under attack just as much now as we were 39 years ago. Then, we flocked to the streets outside of the Stonewall Bar in Manhattan to stand up to police raids and mistreatment of gays. Now, we are faced with an ultra conservative backlash in Florida’s northern Panhandle cities that would love nothing better than to crush us out of existence. In an age where we can openly walk hand-in-hand on the streets of Wilton Manors, it is important to remember that we live in a protected bubble of illusion here in our sliver of sunburnt reality in South Florida.

The mood in Washington, DC, and in our state capital in Tallahassee is vile. Politicians in this country will never provide equal rights to all individuals regardless of race, creed, or sexual orientation because to do so will weaken their strength within their own ranks as white Christian Americans tumble closer than ever to becoming a minority themselves. For the first time in U.S. history that reality is allowing a platform that gives the current administration permission to exist.

There is no pride in Donald Trump’s continuing efforts to keep transgender soldiers from serving in the military. There is no pride in the Department of Justice’s legal brief that clearly states its belief that anti-gay legislation is legal under Federal law. There is no pride that transgender students in schools no longer have the protection given them under the Obama administration. There is no pride in the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice who thinks LGBT laws are special privileges, rather than basic human rights. And there certainly is no pride in gun laws that allow the repeated slaughter of innocent victims across all spectrums of life without action to prevent it from reoccurring ever again.

We have no more time to tolerate fools among leaders or allow the disenfranchised to lack a loud voice at the table. Expect the upcoming Stonewall Pride in Wilton Manors the second week in June to be the largest in its 19-year history. Not because this is a party to show how proud we are to be gay, but rather because it is a demonstration that reaffirms the strength in our unity. Gays and Straights standing tall together because we will accept nothing less.

 

 

 

Richard Hack

Richard Hack is an award-winning author and journalist; and an outspoken advocate for equality in business and government, as well as neutrality in news media.

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