February 24, 2017
By Jacqueline Souza
Last July, as he campaigned in cities all across the country, Trump promised his supporters the following:
“As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology, believe me.”
This week, the self-described “champion” of LGBTQIA rights broke that promise by revoking legal protections for transgender students who were allowed to use the bathrooms that corresponded to their gender identity. Betsy DeVos, our new Secretary of Education, originally criticized Trump’s revocation of these rights, iterating that “[schools] have a moral obligation to protect all students from discrimination, bullying, and harassment.” Days later, she caved, siding with the President and Attorney Sessions amidst the controversy.
Blocking trans students from using their preferred restroom is discrimination at its finest. Children of all identities deserve to feel protected and secure in educational institutions and everywhere else, not subject to harassment or abuse at any given moment. The fact that we’re still having this debate is dumbfounding, and just goes to show that our fight is far from over.
Trump’s true colors are showing. They have since he stoically descended the elevator in Trump Towers to announce his campaign. He is no champion of queer rights, nor is he an advocate or a pillar of support for the rest of the LGBTQIA community. He chose to work alongside one of the most anti-LGBTQIA politicians in history, and he has again demonstrated his inability to ethicize public policy and his indifference to legislative oppression.
Jacqueline Souza is an intern for the NewPeople and also studies sociology and journalism at the University of Pittsburgh. She is interested in racial justice, social movements, and U.S. politics.