June is over, and Donald Trump has celebrated Great Outdoors Month, National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, African-American Music Appreciation Month, National Ocean Month and National Homeownership Month but noticeably not Pride Month which is a celebration of and a fight for the rights of the LGBT community.
His silence on the matter till now is in stark contrast to the promises made during his presidential campaigns where time and again he had vowed to stand by the community and do everything in his capacity as President of the US, each time also bringing forth the inability of his opponent candidate Hillary Clinton to acknowledge and work towards the rights of the ignored community.
“Ask yourself who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community, Donald Trump with actions or Hillary Clinton with her words?” he said in Manchester, New Hampshire, on June 13, 2016.
In another instance, he said in Raleigh, North Carolina, on July 5 last year, “Believe me, I am better for the gay community, I am better for women than [Clinton] will ever be on her best day.”
On October 30, at a rally in Greeley, Colorado, Trump borrowed a rainbow pride flag emblazoned with the words “LGBTs for Trump” from a fan, holding it up with a smile to the cheering crowd.
Till now the Trump administration has done nothing for the community and ironically comes across as the man with only words and no action.
Former President Bill Clinton was the first to declare June as LGBT Pride month in 1999 in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots of late June 1969. However, the tradition did not continue under former President George W. Bush.
CNN reports that the White House began recognizing the month again during former President Barack Obama’s administration and thus was being celebrated for the past consecutive eight years. Trump again put an end to it in 2017.
BuzzFeed News contacted the White House every single day in June to ask if a statement or proclamation was forthcoming — and if not, why not.
Spokesperson Kelly Love responded via an email finally on June 14, saying, “We will let you know if anything official goes out.” June went by without any significant update from Washington DC office.
However, daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump, tweeted her best wishes on the very first day of the month when she wrote, “This month we celebrate and honor the #LGBTQ community.”
I am proud to support my LGBTQ friends and the LGBTQ Americans who have made immense contributions to our society and economy.— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 2, 2017
In mixed actions regarding the issue, in January, Trump said his administration would continue to enforce earlier workplace protections for LGBT federal workers and contractors. The following month, however, he went back on his words when he recalled Obama administration guidelines designed to reduce anti-transgender discrimination in public schools and give trans students access to gender-appropriate restrooms and locker rooms. The administration also rejected calls to have the 2020 census ask questions about sexual orientation and gender identity for the first time.
Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2016
The President’s failure to recognize Pride Month did not go unnoticed in the LGBTQ community. Many attendees at Pride marches nationwide carried “Dump Trump” signs along with their rainbow flags. Los Angeles even turned its annual Pride parade into a “Resist March,” where participants stuck “I Resist Homophobia” signs on his Hollywood star.
Many pro-LGBT community Americans involved in events like the New York Pride parade featuring rooftop parties, a street festival, a rally, luminaries and a brunch. L.A. Pride 2017, which took place on June 10 and 11, included a host of performances. In the nation’s capital, Pride involved a block party, a festival, rooftop pool party and a Miley Cyrus concert. San Francisco parade included a festival, rally, food, a parade and a concert while Chicago hosted Pride for the 48th time.
“The fact that Trump did not even recognize Pride Month is an omen of what’s to come, and we need to mobilize now,” said Washington DC march participant Daniel Dunlop.
This ignorance comes at an important juncture in American history when according to a study by the Pew Research Center, a record 62 percent Americans favor same-sex marriage.
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]