LGBTQ Millennials On What It's Like Being Queer In Trump's America
For queer Millennials in America during this year's Pride, it's impossible not to have politics on the brain. Now, you shouldn't let it ruin your Pride — in fact, it's so important to be out celebrating in the current political climate, but we can't ignore what's going on. So many people have felt angry, confused, and scared as queer folk in Trump's America. There's something about not only this administration, but the fact that people in this country elected this president, that has a lot of people feeling vulnerable.
"All the business with bathrooms? That's stuff I think about daily," Adam Powers, who created the Tumblr "Why We're Afraid" tells Bustle. "The idea that the people who think my identity is illegitimate, or almost worse... is what allowed Trump to win keeps me up at night."
So while we're out there celebrating and dancing and enjoying, let's not forget why we need to be doing that. We're still dealing with a political climate the removes protections for the queer community, that continuously marginalizes minorities of all kinds. And to get a feeling of exactly what it's like out there, it's important to pass the mic and give queer folk a chance to share their side of the story.
Here's how real LGBTQ millennials feel under Trump, because for some the fear is very real:
1. Ami, 27
"I constantly feel threatened due to this administration — not just from those in it, but also from those who it is influencing. Not long after Trump's inauguration, I personally witnessed and experienced people approaching those of us in the community and saying it was now OK to be prejudiced specifically because he was in office. The administration is bringing out the worst in people, civilians and officials alike, and they need to start realizing that this will only lead to hurting us as a nation."
2. Molly, 32
"In Indiana we are probably never going to have state-based protections so federal action is very important to us. It's pretty disheartening to see Trump making anti-LGBTQ appointments and courting anti-LGBTQ organizations in the news every day. I know I'll make it OK but I worry for the kids coming up now."
3. Sonia Mohammadzadah, Youth Activist, Advocates For Youth
“While I have learned to reconcile being queer and being Muslim, there are very few spaces in which I feel both of these identities are welcomed and cherished. Many LGBTQ Muslim youth have been raised in families or communities that tell them they are living in sin. Queer spaces are not exempt from reproducing harmful stereotypes about Islam. Islamophobia and homophobia existed long before the Trump presidency, and I’m sure they won’t disappear once he leaves office. However, his campaign and his administration have further legitimized messages that say Islam is violent, all terrorists are Muslim (and vice versa), and LGBTQ identities are deviant and unworthy of basic human rights. I must constantly validate my own sense of self by arguing, with strangers and loved ones alike, that Islam preaches peace, queerness is normal, and they can, in fact, exist harmoniously.”
4. Jarryd, 25
"As a gay black man in America, many days seem daunting as I worry about how individuals perceive me. More than ever before we see videos on social media capturing blatant moments of racism, homophobia and transphobia happening around the country, and that can make walking out the door feel scary. Personally, I try to take solace in the acts of courage happening around the world to make spaces safer and more inclusive. Each day is a new opportunity to give the world the best of ourselves, instead of the worst."
5. Jeremy, 27
As a 27-year-old gay male, Trump's America hasn't changed too much for me. Although it's only been five months. Maybe I'm naive but I don't see much changing anyway, I'm lucky to be in NYC where Trump's presidency wouldn't change anything. I even attended a Pride fest in Hicksville PA, and everyone was good and celebrating, only one protester. I don't think Trump's Presidency will change much.
6. Zoe, 30
"It's just the sense of hate, the anger around. As a queer person, it feels like suddenly people are allowed to let their hate out in the open. Maybe it shouldn't seem scary because it's obviously always been there, but it feels different now."
7. Cal, 31
"I'm a white dude that presents like a white dude. I live in a liberal city, a safe city. Day to day, I feel like I get treated the same as I've always been treated. However...I do feel like this is a reckoning for the LGBT community. Not so much in the sense that I fear that we'll be shipped off to rehabilitation facilities or even that our most recent political gains will be eroded. The election has forced us to reckon with the boundaries of our responsibilities as members of a minority.
I think we're faced with two problems: one, the biggest part of our agenda, gay marriage, succeeded. Now the problem of struggling against complacency is suddenly and terrifyingly moot. Two, we are being called upon to join other oppressed groups in their own struggles. I don't think our leaders have articulated that imperative sufficiently, especially given the white and male leadership of many LGBT orgs.
And another part of me is like... I just feel like the problems of mass incarceration and police violence against black people are 100 percent bigger priorities than a lot of LGBT issues."
8. Helen, 32
"Maybe this won't make sense, but I actually feel stronger for it. I've coasted as a queer person who presents as straight for a long time and I've probably been a bit lazy. Now I feel like I have something to fight for and I'm more engaged in the community than I have been before."
Everyone's experience is unique, so there's no one way an entire queer community is going to feel. But hearing it straight from real LGBTQ Millennials shows just how much this administration is affecting people. So enjoy Pride, but don't forget why we need it.