Trump’s attitudes toward gay and trans people is puzzling. He started with an upside-down rainbow flag at a rally in which he pledged his support to the LGBT community, but his policy decisions in the first six months of his presidency have been hostile.
Asked about his ban on transgender people serving in the military, Trump made a bizarre and disturbing statement on Thursday:
I have great respect for the community. I think I’ve had great support, or I’ve had great support from that community. I got a lot of votes.
But the transgender, the military’s working on it now. It’s been a very difficult situation and I think I’m doing a lot of people a favor by coming out and just saying it. As you know, it’s been a very complicated issue for the military, it’s been a very confusing issue for the military, and I think I’m doing the military a great favor.
As the Daily Beast points out, you can’t claim to have “great respect” for a community you are systematically attacking and diminishing. Denying trans people the right to serve in the military signifies a profound lack of respect.
And on the matter of his supposed support from the trans community, Trump must be privy to statistics nobody else has seen. According to NBC News exit poll statistics, only 14% of LGBT people voted for Trump in the presidential election, compared to 78% for Hillary Clinton. Even Caitlyn Jenner just apologized after being caught wearing a Make America Great Again hat. And last month there was a pro-Trump LGBT rally in Washington, and only eighteen people showed up.
According to the Pentagon, having trans people serving in the military has not been a “difficult situation,” as Trump claims. A Pentagon-commissioned study found that trans people have been serving without disruption for years. Similarly, the cost of medical treatments for trans service members has been determined to be a mere drop in the bucket.
So as usual, almost nothing the president says about LGBT people has any speck of truth to it.
What do you think?
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