By Emma Wu Shortt ‘20
As terrifying as the prospect of a Donald Trump - Mike Pence presidency is, we cannot freeze or flee. It’s time to prepare and rally the troops, in this case, the queer troops. So what nightmares do this upcoming administration hold for the queers we hold near and dear? Well first off, Donald Trump has been public about his opposition towards nationwide marriage equality.
His reasoning for this rejection? He’s a “traditional guy.” How ironic. I didn’t realize multiple marriages, and “grabbing women by the pussy” was traditional...However, in all seriousness, Trump/Pence stances on marriage equality and other queer rights are honestly terrifying. Pence is the face of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, supporting a bill that allows businesses to discriminate against and deny service to members of the queer community. And Trump? He supports the most hateful of anti-LGBTQ+ bills, North Carolina’s HB2 and has spoken publicly about his intent to not ensure that transgender Americans are treated equally. Despite all of this, Trump claims that he will “do everything in his power to protect our LGBTQ+ citizens.” Hmm... this honestly enforces the idea that everything Trump says is contradictory and ultimately untrue.
If this isn’t spooky enough, just wait, it gets worse.
Not only will the White House be run by an anti-queer administration but this hatred will most likely bleed into the Supreme Court.
Over the past years, rulings on LGBTQ+ issues have been very close narrowly decided by a 5-4 majority. However, with the death of Antonin Scalia, Trump has disclosed his plans to appoint a justice with similar anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments. This could be the start of an anti-LGBTQ+ equality majority within the Supreme Court, which is a very scary prospect.
However, do not despair yet, dear queers, all hope is not lost. One positive side effect of this horrifying election is that the liberal population is mobilized and furious. We have made so many strides toward marriage equality and queer rights and we are not going to give up that progress easily. Additionally, public opinion and understanding of queer issues and rights has improved and that is not something that Trump or Pence can take away, no matter how much hate they spew.
So where exactly do we go from here? Well, as Ellen Browning Scripps says, we must live “confidently, courageously, and hopefully.” We must feel confident in the support of our wonderful community in Claremont, we must move courageously forth in owning our queer identities, protesting attempts to take away our rights, and supporting our friends that may feel endangered after the election result.
And finally, we must live hopefully. If we lose hope, we lose everything, and there is SO MUCH to be hopeful for. This all becomes clearer to me as I see how triumphantly our amazing community raises up to support one another, refuses to tolerate injustice, and strives for more progress. Do not let this election drown you or take away your hope and courage, let it light a fire in your belly and a spark in your beautiful mind that says we will not tolerate hate and we are not going anywhere.