On Jan. 30, 2017, the White House said that President Donald J. Trump plans to leave in place an Obama administration order protecting LGBTQ citizens in the workplace, according to The New York Times.
Many LGBTQ citizens throughout the country are afraid of a Trump presidency, especially considering Vice President Mike Pence’s stance opposing gay marriage when he was governor of Indiana. Despite the recent White House statement, LGBTQ individuals continue to be concerned about their future.
Some LGBTQ students at Seton Hall commented on the current situation.
Teijei Leach, a sophomore political science major, commented on whether or not he feels the Trump administration is being truthful.
“I don’t trust Trump for a second,” Leach said, “I think he’s only keeping LGBTQ issues the way Obama left them because he’s trying to divide minorities.”
Kaitlyn Bolwell, a freshman special education and English major, voiced her opinion as well.
“I’m still nervous because Trump and Pence have previously had very homophobic and transphobic views,” Bolwell said. “It’s relieving that the laws are being kept in place, however,” she added. “I hope he’ll go through with it.”
Bolwell went on to describe the heightened homophobia she has witnessed since Trump was elected.
“I think people feel more comfortable coming out with their blatant homophobia because if a person with those views was elected to power, it must be okay,” Bolwell said.
Leach said that although he has not personally experienced homophobia since Trump’s election, he has noticed other issues.
“People don’t really confront me here at SHU,” Leach said, “but I have seen heightened racism since Trump was elected.”
Dr. King Mott, an openly gay, associate professor of political science and women and gender studies, was asked how he feels about the Trump administration.
“Overall, the sentiments range from uncertainty to outright fear,” Mott said in an email interview. “The current administration is reconsidering all notions related to equal protection of the law,” he added. “Women, immigrants, Muslims, African-Americans, the disabled, and LGBTQ individuals all face heightened focus.”
Mott then commented on the rise of the alt-right, a group with a set of far-right ideologies, whose core belief is that “white identity” is under attack by multicultural forces using “political correctness” and “social justice” to undermine white people and their civilization, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“There are now unheard of constituencies that have previously been beyond the pale in our public discourse,” Mott said. “These groups target outsiders and subject them to blame for all sorts of economic and social conditions.”
Mott went on to comment on what the Trump administration means for LGBTQ individuals.
“Queer people are now and have historically been in our culture targets for attack and ridicule,” Mott said. “Political or quasi-religious movements to legitimize that practice are threatening to us all.”
Isabel Soisson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.