Although President Donald Trump spent the last half of his campaign pledging his support to the LGBT community, we recently saw him rescind national protections for transgender students that allowed them to use the facility that corresponded with their gender identity. North Carolina’s House Bill 2, commonly known as the “bathroom bill,” started the debate surrounding the guidelines for transgender individuals’ bathroom usage. Trump’s first act in reference to this community goes against his promise to protect LGBT people and their rights.
Before being elected, Trump was openly in support of the protections, stating on the Today Show:
“There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate, there has been so little trouble.”
However, shortly after these remarks were made, Trump — his usual fickle personality — took a different stance on the issue in an interview with Fox News. He said the bathroom issue should instead be left to the states, and the federal government has no place being involved.
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
We can assume the change resulted in his decision to revoke the federal bill giving transgender students the right to use the bathroom they feel most appropriate. Another factor may be his highly conservative vice president, Mike Pence, who has openly been in favor of conversion therapy and opposed to LGBT rights. Trump repealed the bill on the basis that it “lacked extensive legal analysis, did not go through a public vetting process, sowed confusion and drew legal challenges.” This means that Trump possibly could replace the bill; however, it seems more likely that the issue will be left to the states.
With this shocking movement from a supposedly LGBT supportive president, many in the community are angry and fearful for what lies ahead. Caitlyn Jenner is a self-identified Republican and an open supporter of Trump’s presidency, going as far as advocating for him, even though it was against her family’s views. When news broke on Trump’s betrayal of the LGBT community, though, Jenner posted a Twitter video stating her disappointment:
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) February 24, 2017
Jenner reflects a lot of the views of those in the LGBT community who made the choice to believe in a LGBT-friendly Trump presidency. They now most likely feel regret for their choice of candidate. Trump’s stance leaves uncertainty for the community; states such as North Carolina and Texas, who have previously tried to pass bills denying bathroom access, will probably once again restrict transgender rights. Once again, state laws will be at odds with each other on basic rights for LGBT citizens. We can only hope the country comes together to protect the rights of all our citizens.
The National Center for Transgender Equality, Trans Equality, is spearheading a movement to raise awareness for the laws needed in order to fully protect transgender people, including a replacement law. As this is the first time we’ve seen Trump act on transgender rights, Trans Equality’s primary goal is to stop this rhetoric from proceeding and imploring the Trump administration to be more caring and receptive of transgender issues.
The LGBT community has only begun winning major rights in the last decade, just gaining the right to marry in 2015, so the fire is still raging. With this latest move Trump has only provided more fuel to the fire; being Trump’s first presidential stand on LGBT rights, we can only assume it will mark war with the community.