Donald Trump, the most homophobic and transphobic president in recent history, is still selling Pride t-shirts
Today marks the first day of Pride month, and we regret to inform you that Donald Trump is still selling Pride themed “Make America Great Again” t-shirts.
Throughout his presidency, Trump has made it clear that he does not care about the LGBT+ community – but he is happy to use us to make money, apparently.
Are you surprised? We’re not.
The Pride t-shirt’s description reads: “Show your support for the LGBT+ community and the 45th President with this exclusive Make America Great Again t-Shirt.”
The apparel section of his website is rife with contradiction and hypocrisy – alongside Pride t-shirts, Trump is selling clothes with the tone deaf slogans “Black Voices for Trump” and “Cops for Trump”. Need we say more?
Trump is happy to sell clothes with these slogans while doing absolutely nothing to benefit the communities they are designed to appeal to.
In fact, throughout his disastrous presidency, Trump has consistently rolled back LGBT+ rights – with trans rights coming under a microscopic lens during his tenure in the White House.
Donald Trump has rolled back LGBT+ rights during his presidency.
One of the defining moments of his presidency for LGBT+ people came in July 2017 when he casually announced on Twitter that he was banning trans people from serving in the military.
With just the click of a few buttons, Donald Trump sent the message out to the world – devastating trans service members and their families in the process.
The trans military ban eventually came into effect in April 2019 and pushed countless trans people out of the military, and likely forced many more to live in the wrong gender to keep their jobs.
But the trans military ban is, at this point, just one horrific example of the ways in which Trump has pushed back against LGBT+ equality throughout his presidency.
Just last week, the Associated Press obtained a 45-page letter from Trump’s Department of Education which argued that trans youth playing school sports violates the civil rights of cisgender youth.
Kevin Jennings, CEO of civil-rights organisation Lambda Legal, said this latest attack on trans youth by the Donald Trump administration was “shameful” and accused them of “weaponising playgrounds”.
Meanwhile, a recent report backed by civil rights groups such as the ACLU argued that the Trump administration has been using the guise of religious freedom to undermine protections for LGBT+ people.
The report said the Trump administration has “repeatedly undermined important civil rights protections” through a patchwork of changes to pre-existing regulations.
And there are plenty more examples from the last few years of Trump’s presidency.
Hate crimes reached a decade high during Trump’s presidency.
Last year, the Department of Justice filed briefs to the Supreme Court saying that it’s legal to fire trans people because of their gender identity.
A later brief from the same department argued that it was legal to fire people based on their sexual orientation.
One of the only good things to arise from Trump’s presidency was the recent decision to allow queer men to donate blood after abstaining from sex from three months, instead of 12 months. But Trump later admitted that he knew nothing about it.
Amidst all of this, there is an epidemic of murders of trans people – particularly trans women of colour – but the Trump administration does not seem to care.
So, bearing all of this in mind, Trump’s pick for the Presidential Medal of Freedom earlier this year was obvious: the notoriously anti-LGBT+ Rush Limbaugh, who once said gay weddings “normalise paedophilia”.
Republicans have tried to suggest that Trump is a champion of LGBT+ rights, but they’re wrong.
Republican efforts to spin Trump’s track record on LGBT+ rights into something positive have largely not worked.
Some gay Republicans celebrated Trump recently when it was announced that a 12-month celibacy requirement for gay and bisexual male blood donors was being dropped to three months instead – but Trump later revealed he had no idea it had even happened.
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Similarly, the Trump administration won some praise late last year when it was announced that they would be providing the HIV-preventing drug PrEP to 200,000 people in the United States who don’t have health insurance free of charge.
But issues later emerged, with activists suggesting the plans failed to address other medical costs incurred in the process of obtaining the drug that can amount to $1,000 per year.
Each time the Trump administration rolls back LGBT+ rights, we think it can’t get any worse – but it always does.
As we enter Pride month – potentially Trump’s last as president – the LGBT+ community must unite in its mission to call out systemic discrimination and bias wherever it lingers – especially in the White House.