Marks: How Trump’s presidency will affect the LGBTQIA+ community

I spent the night of the 2016 presidential election with my partner, hoping to celebrate Hillary Clinton’s win.

However, by midnight, the election had been called. Trump had won. I couldn’t believe it.

Over the next two days, I was in too much of a daze of anxiety for the results to really settle in. I didn’t want to hear anything about it. It took me a while to process exactly how I felt about it and what I am going to do now that Trump will be sworn in next year.

Although I plan on doing several things to fight the deterioration of minority rights, especially as a minority myself, I decided to start by doing further research on how Trump’s presidency will affect the LGBTQIA+ community.

Not surprisingly, issues are already showing up in Texas in the form of legislative bills. State Senator Konni Burton has introduced Senate Bill 242, which requires that personal information about a child, which includes their gender identity and sexuality, must be revealed to their parents. Otherwise, educators may face disciplinary action.This is problematic because a young person’s gender identity and sexuality should remain private if they so wish. LGBTQIA+ people need to come out in their own time, and having a support system is an important part of that journey. Beyond that, they could be forced into conversion therapy or kicked out of their house if their parents are not accepting. In addition, Senate Bill 92 will void local ordinances that protect the LGBTQIA+ community from discrimination in cities such as Austin and Dallas. Without local protections, LGBTQIA+ families may find themselves facing more discrimination, possibly to the point of having to relocate. Finally, the Women’s Privacy Act forces transgender people to use the public restroom that corresponds with the gender they were assigned at birth. This act has not yet been introduced but is reported to be up for vote next year.

The problems arising in Texas are just some examples of what a Trump presidency could mean for the LGBTQIA+ community. The president-elect had already, in his campaign, promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would allow transgender people to be discriminated against in their efforts to access health care. Previously, the ACA protected transgender people from being discriminated against. Furthermore, Vice President-elect Mike Pence has been a longtime supporter of conversion therapy, described by the Human Rights Campaign website as, “a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.” These practices include shocking or giving nausea inducing medicine to patients while showing them gay erotica and electroconvulsive therapy, in which electric shocks are used to induce a seizure. There is no question that these practices are inhumane and it is appalling that our vice president-elect is a supporter of this form of torture.

Worrisome for the LGBTQIA+ community in red states is Trump’s policy of leaving things up to state legislature. He has previously stated that transgender people should be protected under law, but would rather individual states make decisions rather than putting into place any federal laws. If this were the case, what is happening in Texas could spread to other states where Trump supporters abound and those in charge are not supportive of the queer community. However, the good news is that if LGBTQIA+ families aren’t happy with the way things are going in their state, they can move to another state. Not to say that that wouldn’t take a toll on the family, as moving is one of the most stressful things a person can go through.

Thankfully, it is unlikely that same-sex marriage will be repealed. Since the Supreme Court made the decision to legalize same-sex marriage, it cannot be repealed by the president nor Congress.

Although Trump’s win in the 2016 election is worrisome for women, people of color and the queer community alike, the reactions following his victory have brought me hope and inspiration. Protests both local and national have brought together minorities and allies to unite against a common enemy. While I fear for the rights of my fellow minorities, I am inspired to join in the fight against Trump’s collective.

America was never great. But hopefully, that is something that we can change.

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Jadyn Marks

Jadyn Marks

Jadyn graduated from the University of Oregon in 2018 with a B.S. in political science and a minor in legal studies. She formerly worked as the opinion desk's associate editor. Prior to that, she had worked as a copy editor, news reporter, outreach director, and opinion writer.