SFGN’s “Speak OUT” is a weekly feature giving a regular voice to South Florida LGBT leaders.
As Trump’s first 100 days approaches, what your concerns about his administration?
With Trump pretty much all of the advances achieved on LGBT equality are threatened. Trump rolled back guidelines designed to protect transgender students. His proposed budget would slash critical funding for HIV/AIDS research. He appointed homophobic people such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to lead some of our country’s most important departments.
In fact, the administration's current cabinet might very well be the most anti-LGBT we have ever seen. We need to be very concerned and vigilant that any changes to the Affordable Care Act do not allow medical discrimination or exclusions to coverage for LGBT Americans.
With Trump's opposition to marriage equality and the removal of LGBT questions from the census and the issue of LGBT civil rights removed from the White House's official webpage, it is clear that we and our families are not valued equally by this president.
We have struggled too long to be relegated to a second-class citizen status by this Republican government at best indifferent and at worst opposed to our rights as Americans. We must therefore dedicate these next years, especially with elections in 2018 and 2020, to supporting candidates and organizations advocating for our equality and the best of our American values.
— Justin Flippen, Vice Mayor of Wilton Manors
Our greatest concerns in dealing with President Trump are his unpredictability, lack of political sophistication, and irrational thinking. The players keep changing, with the exception of his daughter and son-in-law. But what influence do they have? LGBT issues aren't on his radar, but limiting our rights and visibility are priorities for his right wing, so-called Christian supporters. Resistance is a day by day activity, carrying forth issues in the courts, and rapid-fire responses to his bumbling.
— Brian McNaught, noted columnist, author and LGBT activist
My concern is that some Democrats will give up on LGBT rights in an effort to reach more mainstream voters. The Democratic Party lost its appeal to white, middle class voters. They may mistakenly think that these "white middle class voters" have a general issue with LGBT politics and rights. Mistaken. Trump didn't win because of his more conservative social views and the Democrats didn't lose because they were more progressive on LGBT rights.
As far as President Trump is concerned, he has made several appointments that are not encouraging but may not yet mean we should sound the alarm. As the New York Times editorial board stated, “The only good news for the LGBT rights movement this year has come from the courts. Early this month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a ruling that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay people from discrimination at work."
I still hold out hope that, as some time passes, President Trump will be more LGBT friendly and perhaps even propose some landmark legislation that could surprise all of us. He is from a very liberal state, his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, are known to be very LGBT friendly, and, the president may just surprise us.
Either way, let's never be complacent.
— Tom Hantzarides, Host and producer of "GET OUT! South Florida,” an LGBT radio show