The Effect of the Election on the LGBT Community


Arianna Howard, Editor-in-Chief

With President-Elect Donald Trump’s conservative policies everywhere, it is no surprise that members of the LGBT community were disheartened by the election results. This school is a diverse mixing pot with students of all genders and sexual orientations, and their voices needed to be heard.


Due to safety concerns, any interviewees in this article will be anonymous. Student A admitted that, after the election, they could not believe that Trump won and didn’t know what to feel or expect. As a queer person, they feel safe as of right now, but fear for their safety when they graduate next year and go into the “real world” where “there are people who aren’t too fond of queer people.” This student even stated that they originally planned to apply to a school in Ohio, but refrained from doing so because of the election results. “I really hope that we stay safe and I just hope that we don’t regress instead of more progress in LGBT rights.”


One of the more frightening parts of this election, however, is not actually Trump’s stances, but his VP, Mike Pence’s. In the past, Pence opposed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a policy in the military that made it so that, as long as they were not public about their sexuality, lesbian and gay people could serve. Now, to some, this may sound like a way to allow gay people to serve, but it was actually more hindering than helpful. Most LGBT people view Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as a way to ignore gay people and keep them in the closet. The way it worked was, if you were gay but closeted, you could serve. But if someone had reason to believe you were gay, they could kick you out. It was like saying “you can be gay, but you have to hide it and never bring it up or you’ll be fired.” He also stated that “societal collapse was brought about following an advent of deterioration of marriage and family” as well as “Congress should oppose any effort to put gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status with heterosexual marriage.” The thing that scares people most about Pence, though, is that he advocated for public spending on conversion therapy.


The Human Rights Campaign describes conversion therapy as “a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.” While many states have banned this practice, it still occurs in many places, under slightly nicer names to cover up what they are doing to LGBT youth.


Desert Stream Living Water describes themselves as a ministry that provides help to Christians “struggling with sexuality.” They also label same-sex attraction as “destructive habits”, “bad choices”, and “sexual immorality.” Another example of a place that “helps” people is Heartlight Ministries. After contacting them and trying to find out what the process is in conversion therapy, they could only say that they help convert gay people on a case-by-case basis. The scary thing about these organizations, is how secretive they are. They almost never operate under the name “conversion therapy”, probably because of LGBT activists’ efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of the therapy. Most places use the terms “unwanted same-sex attraction”, “reparative therapy”, and “sexual brokenness.” It is clear that they are trying to hide what happens behind the scenes, especially with so many people coming out and talking about their horrible experiences with conversion therapy. Yet, this is what the future vice president wants to encourage.


This is a scary time for people, as they fear for their future and what will happen to all of the progress that activists have made. LGBT youth needs support now more than ever. Take care of how you talk to your classmates, and if you see someone being harassed, speak up.