Let me start by saying I do not stand in judgement of you or your conservative values, such as they are. Though I am an unabashed liberal I have always thought that conservatism serves an important purpose as a moderating, albeit non-obstructive, voice on the road to progress. As a millennial, I came of age during the 2000 election. It was close and contentious, not to mention stolen by the Supreme Court, but ultimately civil. I look back fondly on a time in U.S. politics when civil discourse could be had across party lines and at the end of the day we could all go home without any significant bruises.
It is within this spirit of bipartisan communication that I speak to you now. You are fighting a losing battle and splintering the resistance to Trump’s hateful agenda in the process. Your continued support of the Republican Party and its current platform, the most anti-gay in history, is self-defeating as gay Americans and as a gay American on the other side of the aisle I am not ashamed to say that we are a stronger LGBTQ community with you than without you.
It occurs to me that you might mention that Trump has spoken positively about the rights of LGBTQ individuals in the past and I know you’re clinging to his words like a piece of debris in the middle of a hurricane but let me remind you that Trump has been on both sides of many issues over the course of a few short months. He is unprincipled and driven only by his never-ending search for power, personal gain and admiration. And as his recent flip on the issue of trans bathrooms in public schools perfectly exhibits, his word is worth less than a pair of Ivanka Trump brand shoes at Nordstrom. It also occurs to me that as a gay Republican you are nothing if not a master of compartmentalization. I’m sure you’ve already drawn a line in the sand and convinced yourself that just because Trump went after the trans community doesn’t mean he’ll roll back gay rights. In this case, I’m cautioning you to remember that even if you took Trump at his fickle word, he’s not the one who ultimately decides whether our rights as gay Americans are protected. That’s up to the Supreme Court and his current nominee, Neil Gorsuch, has voiced disturbing views on the rights of our community in the past. Views that are very much in line with his previous mentor, the late Antonin Scalia.
I haven’t even gotten to the constant disrespect you face as gay Republicans. You have been sidelined and dismissed by your own. Continually humiliated and treated as oddities by your fellow Republican brethren. CPAC’s decision to have the first openly gay speaker in the convention’s history be the unabashedly racist, sexist, chauvinistic, and pedophile apologist, Milo Yiannopoulos, was further evidence of your status among fellow Republicans. You are entertainment to them and nothing more.
I know you already know all of this. There’s nothing I can say about this current Republican Party that you haven’t already heard or reflected on for yourself. So why continue to support them?
It is my best guess that during your period of self-reflection during the election when you were pondering your continued loyalty to your party you made the calculation, hopefully not consciously, that your identity as a white man/woman or as a person of wealth is more valuable than your identity as a homosexual.
No other excuse could explain why you are currently in support of a party that does not value you as equals and would, and very well may, strip you of your most basic protections as Americans at its first opportunity. And to be honest, I can’t say I blame you. As a gay black man, I’m uniquely low on the demographic hierarchy this country has established. When I get jumped in the street I must stop and actively wonder to myself which part of my identity is under attack before I fill out the hate crime form in my head. Being white and or wealthy doesn’t make you a better or more valuable person but it is undoubtedly an easier way to live life in the U.S. than as either gay or a minority.
You were born to belong to a much older community than that of the GOP. One that will be around long after something else replaces Republicans and Democrats and because of that it is important that you take this opportunity to stand on the right side of history. Reject party over country politics and stand with your gay, trans and questioning brothers and sisters and resist Trump! Everyone has something to lose in Trump’s America. I understand that you may disagree with that but you can’t possibly disagree that as a gay American, if the worst-case scenario takes place, few have more to lose than you.