Donald Trump fails to recognise LGBTQ Pride Month

The President has previously declared himself a 'real friend' of the LGBTQ community

Emily Shugerman
New York
Saturday 01 July 2017 11:47

Donald Trump, a self-proclaimed “real friend” of the LGBTQ community, has failed to acknowledge LGBTQ Pride Month.

The President sent out five different proclamations during the month of June – naming it, for example, Great Outdoors Month and National Ocean Month – but failed to proclaim the civil rights holiday.

The tradition of celebrating LGBTQ pride in June dates back to 1999, when former President Bill Clinton pronounced it Gay and Lesbian Pride Month in honour of the New York City Stonewall Riots. The 1969 riots are seen by many as the birth of the LGBTQ civil rights movement.

The month is now marked by Pride marches around the country, many of which boast thousands of participants each. The month is so widely recognised that many retailers create special Pride product lines every summer.

Former President Barack Obama recognised the month every year of his presidency. In one proclamation, he encouraged Americans to “wave their flags of pride high and march boldly forward in parades and demonstrations,” and “celebrate how far we have come and reaffirm our steadfast belief in the equal dignity of all Americans”.

Former President George W Bush, a Republican, did not acknowledge the month.

Mr Trump told attendees at the 2016 Republican National Convention that he would do "everything in [his] power to protect LGBTQ citizens". At a rally after the mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub, Mr Trump claimed to be more LGBTQ-friendly than his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

“Ask yourself who is really the friend of women and the LGBTQ community, Donald Trump with actions or Hillary Clinton with her words?” he said. “I will tell you who the better friend is and some day I believe that will be proven out big league.”

The President changed his position on same-sex marriage during the campaign, eventually saying he is "fine" with the Supreme Court's decision. But he has also flip-flopped on transgender rights, rolling back Obama-era protections for transgender students shortly after taking office.

The President's failure to recognise Pride Month did not go unnoticed in the LGBTQ community. Many attendees at Pride marches nationwide carried “Dump Trump” signs along with their rainbow flags. Los Angeles even turned its annual Pride parade into a “Resist March,” where participants stuck "I Resist Homophobia" signs on his Hollywood star.

Washington DC march participant Daniel Dunlop told the BBC that Trump’s failure to recognise Pride Month sent a strong message to the LGBTQ community.

"The fact that Trump did not even recognise Pride Month is an omen of what's to come, and we need to mobilise now,” Mr Dunlop said.

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