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Misguided Promises: An Open Letter on Trump's Attempted Outreach to LGBTQ Voters

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Dear Donald Trump,

A lot of what you said at the Republican National Convention was questionable at best–but fact checking isn't what I'm here for. There are other resources for that.

There is just one specific statement you made that I would like to address:

"As president, I will do everything in my power to protect LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology."

I mean, honestly, kudos–you are the first Republican nominee to mention LGBTQ people at all in your acceptance speech. You even acknowledged how grateful you were to hear Republicans applaud that, and I would be too. 

Under most circumstances, I'd be impressed and grateful. But there are a couple problems with that. First being that I don't for one moment trust that you intend to protect LGBTQ citizens from anything.

Why? Because your party platform supports conversion therapy for minors, undoing the US Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, and encouraging "bathroom bills" that put transgender and nonbinary individuals at high risk (among other problematic policies).

Honestly, that brings me to the second reason this statement is problematic: "hateful foreign ideologies" are not the biggest threat to LGBTQ citizens in this country.

America is. American culture is entrenched in anti-LGBTQ sentiment, from the obvious (like the official Republican party platform) to the subtle (microaggressions against LGBTQ people).

The way LGBTQ people are treated in pop culture is a threat, from stereotypes to making these identities the butt of jokes or the object of violence.

The way violence against LGBTQ individuals keeps happening is a threat, making LGBTQ individuals among the most frequent victims of hate crimes.

The way we continue to see LGBTQ youth make up a huge portion of homeless youth is a threat.

The way your party's platform has laid most of its planks across the backs of the very people you're claiming you want to protect is a huge threat.

All this comes across as to me is a way to attempt (and fail) to pander to another category of voters by demonizing immigrants and people of color, which has been your M.O. all along.

You keep talking about Making America Great Again. If you want America to be great, you have to be willing to address where it is failing–and where it is failing is in a lot of the same places it's been failing for decades.

When your idea of Making America Great Again starts focusing on the internal issues that make our country unsafe or unjust to large groups of people rather than further ostracizing people based on often made-up "foreign" threats, then maybe I can take you a little bit more seriously.

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to check out more of my writing at Staten Poetry and Blogging on Facebook.


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