Hostile Messages to the LGBT Community

As a gay man with supportive, but also Trump-supporting family members, something I heard frequently during the campaign process was that Trump was actually a friend to the LGBT community, despite the clearly hostile record most of his senior staffers have on LGBT rights, or even on basic LGBT decency.

But as a member of the LGBT community, and someone who has been following politics for years, I also know the power of small signs, and the policy positions they are designed to indicate. And while Trump himself may not understand these subtleties, his chief advisors are Washington insiders, and if they know better than to send a major signal unintentionally.

Immediately after the inauguration was complete on Friday, the White House website was refreshed to represent the incoming administration and its goals, and to remove the Obama administration’s messaging and language. All as it should be.

What was noticeably absent after the page refresh was the White House policy pages for LGBT rights and HIV policy. Whitehouse.gov/lgbt now yields a 404 error, and a search for LGBT yields a the message “Sorry, no results found for ‘LGBT’. Try entering fewer or broader query terms.”

I’m not sure how much more I can broaden “LGBT,” or how much clearer the message could be here, but if you’re a member of the LGBT community or an ally, this is a clear message from the Trump White House: the homophobia of Trump’s advisors has overruled his formerly-cosmopolitan views.

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