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Donald Trump found time to attack Joe Biden and retweet Elon Musk, but yet again failed to recognise Pride Month

Josh Milton June 2, 2020
US President Donald Trump. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

On Monday (June 1), the beginning of LGBT+ Pride month, Donald Trump took time out of his busy schedule to attack Joe Biden, retweet Elon Musk and then say absolutely nothing about queer rights.

The US president amplified Musk’s launch of the SpaceX programme, continued his flame-thrower approach to the Black Lives Matter riots and shared barbed words against his Democratic opponent.

As Pride month begins, gaining a fresh sense of urgency and relevancy in the throes of the Black Lives Matter protests, Trump failing to recognise it is a familiar sight.

One Twitter user contrasted the difference between former president Barack Obama and Trump’s approach to LGBT+ rights with a pair of photographs.

In 2015, the White House was splashed with the colours of the Pride flag. While in 2020, it was shrouded by darkness.

For his first two years as president, Donald Trump said nothing about LGBT+ Pride Month. 

For his first two years in office, there was only silence.

Trump broke his silence in 2019 to announce his administration’s “global campaign to decriminalise homosexuality”. Yet critics immediately seized on how Trump has done more to dismantle LGBT+ rights in the nation than improve.

It was all meant to be different. Many saw Trump as a transformative alternative for his comparatively moderate stance on equal marriage in a crowded field of Republicans who opposed it.

One, they hoped, would turn a corner for a party long mired for its sluggish and reluctant approach to LGBT+ rights.

Donald Trump holds an LGBT+ Pride flag given to him by supporter. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Donald Trump holds an LGBT+ Pride flag given to him by supporter. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

At a campaign rally in 2016, social media feeds were flooded with photographs of Trump pinching up high an upside-down Pride flag. A jarring moment even for Trump, who held the flag scribbled with “LGBTs for Trump” on it for a few second.

During Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in 2016, he thundered that, if elected: “I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBT+ citizens from the violence and oppression of a foreign ideology.”

The commander-in-chief has overseen a harsh rollback of LGBT+ rights throughout his presidency. 

Yet, with each coming year of his administration, Trump’s amnesiac approach to carrying out his pledge has attracted criticism.

LGBT+ people and advocates have witnessed Trump steeply rollback LGBT+ rights across social and political arenas, captured by his ban of trans people serving in the military.

Dozens of protesters gather in Times Square near a military recruitment center to show their anger at President Donald Trump's decision to reinstate a ban on trans folk from serving in the militar. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Dozens of protesters gather in Times Square near a military recruitment centre to show their anger at president Donald Trump’s decision to reinstate a ban on trans folk from serving in the military. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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.

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.

Moreover, hate crime rates reached a decade high during Trump’s tenure as president, and his administration was accused of draining HIV/AIDS funding to pay for child migrant detention.

His administration also considered ways to legally erase trans people and has been linked to numerous anti-LGBT+ hate groups.

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.

More: Donald Trump, elon musk, joe biden, LGBT Pride Month, Pride month, Twitter, US, White House

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