#NotMyPresident: How Trump Is Already Affecting the LGBTQ Community I Know & Love

When Hillary Clinton conceded the election on the night of November 9th, the country instantly changed forever. 

Not only was the candidate that represented progressive values, believed in social equality and was genuinely qualified to take the Oval Office not going to lead our country for the next four years, in their stead, the country elected a man who stands for the exact opposite of everything the United States has worked to build for the past decade.

I am a native New Yorker. 

The solemness felt in the subway and on the city streets as I made my way down to work that morning after I had not felt since the aftermath of 9/11. 

People were crying. Heads were buried in hands. Concerned faces zoned off into the distance. The city was in a fog of confusion and disbelief of what had just happened. The communal shock was beyond palpable.

Almost every single minority group felt that sharp sting of doubt and fear since the announcement, unsure of what is to come and how their lives might be irrevocably changed when Trump is sworn in as the new President. Among the groups that instantly felt it hardest was the LGBTQ community.

I am a gay man. 

The instant that I accepted that Donald Trump would be the next President, my mind immediately went to his campaign of bigotry and hate, especially when it came to LGBTQ  people. 


Between Trump's anti-LGBTQ platform and the track record of the soon-to-be Vice President endorsing "conversion therapy" and advocating the turn-over of laws that protect LGBTQ rights, such as marriage equality and the transgender bathroom protections, the reality that these men would be at the helm of our country was a terrifying one to accept.

Stories of people being harassed and ridiculed in Trump's name for being gay or trans or just different began to circulate on Facebook. The impact of his presidency was already taking effect, and he's not even technically the President yet. 

I became more and more concerned for the future of the LGBTQ community, not just in NYC but all over the country. And then it became that much more real when it happened to me that very day.


I walked out of the 2 train on 116th and Malcom X, like any other day coming home, and began my usual route to my apartment. As I did, I heard someone call out from behind me. I took out one of my headphones and turned around. There was a guy standing there, pointing at me with a look of anger in his eyes.

"Why are you wearing that?" He motions to my backpack, which has The Little Mermaid on it, one of my favorite movie characters of all time.

"Because I like it," I answer.

"No. It's because you're a faggot. I hope you're next on the list for Trump to deport." With that, he turns and walks away, laughing.

I stood there for a moment, shocked. I felt like I had been kicked in the gut. That's when the tears began to well up and I finally lost control of my emotions for the first time since the election results came out. I pulled my hood up over my head and softly cried to myself the rest of the way home, just hoping that nobody would see me.

I've lived in Harlem now for four years. I have never felt unsafe or attacked in my neighborhood until that day. And now I'm even nervous to wear that beloved backpack in public again. 

I was raised on these streets. I was taught to be strong and to stand up for yourself. I was told not to cry. I was encouraged to always be myself even if others didn't like it. 

And in a single moment, all of that came crashing down through a ten-second exchange with a stranger.

I am also a drag queen, something that has pushed me to be more confident and assured of not only myself and my talents, but my identity as a member of the LGBTQ community. 

I've rode the subways in drag. I've gone to my corner supermarket in drag. I've proudly declared to the world that this is part of who I am and no one is going to take my love for the art away. And now I'm second guessing walking down the street wearing a backpack with a mermaid on it.

This is not the city I know. People who were quiet with their bias and discrimination because we lived in a city, and country, that condemned actions of hate and bigotry now feel like they have a "permission" to do so because our next President does it. Stories like mine are becoming a common occurrence, and it's only a matter of time before they begin to escalate in severity.

This is not the effect a President Elect should have in just 36 hours of being announced. 

His words and platform have paved the way to make discrimination acceptable, single-handedly putting at risk the social progress the LGBTQ community has made, all the way back to the riots of Stonewall in 1969.


This is not the time to stay silent and do nothing. We as a community are strong and formidable, and have the support of not just each other, but so many allies in the form of friends, family and loved ones who accept us for who we are and refuse to let our rights to be taken away without a fight. 

The future of the country may be uncertain and come with much fear and concern, but you have two choices when you're confronted with something that makes you afraid: Fight or Flight.

I will not let fear bully me into submission. The LGBTQ community has faced opposition before and we have held strong. Now is the time to stand together and let our voices be heard. New York City can be the epicenter of that movement once again.

He is not my President. I'm going to fight.

[Feature Image Courtesy The Daily Beast] 

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