Trump's Under Fire For His ‘Ask the Gays’ Line, But Is He a Homophobe?
Over the course of his nightmare-inducing political campaign, Donald Trump has offended a lot of people. From day one, he’s attacked the Hispanic community, Muslims, women, people with a sense of integrity, and basically every other group of people. Most of these communities have responded with a mix of anger and frustration over the fact that a man more orange than Tan Mom and more racist than your aunt after two glasses of wine during Christmas dinner has become the Republican Party’s nominee for president. Now, he’s drawn the scorn of yet another group of people, and the response has been swift and sharp.
“For the gays out there, ask the gays and ask the people. Ask the gays what they think,” Trump actually said during a campaign stop on Wednesday. Now, when people usually call the LGBTQ population “the gays,” they’re either open homophobes or a subconsciously homophobic girl proudly confessing to being a “fag hag” as she asks you to go shopping with her, but Trump is neither. Kind of.
Trump on Saudi Arabia, the Clintons, women and "the gays" https://t.co/8OzX9IJbNg
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 15, 2016
Trump: "Ask the gays!"
— Sam Lansky (@samlansky) June 15, 2016
After wading through a metric ton of sass unleashed through sarcastic GIFs that rightly critiqued his tone-deaf comment, we dug through the Internet trash heap of articles about Trump to see what thinks of “the gays.” The truth is that, while Trump may be rightfully called awful for a lot of his positions, his interactions with the LGBTQ community have been a lot less cut-and-dry.
“In all truth, I don’t care whether or not a person is gay. I judge people based on their capability, honesty, and merit. I like the idea of amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include a ban of discrimination based on sexual orientation. It would be simple. It would be straightforward,” Trump told The Advocate in 2000 while considering a presidential run. “Amending the Civil Rights Act would grant the same protection to gay people that we give to other Americans — it’s only fair.”
That was sixteen years ago, and it wasn’t an isolated bout of kindness toward the community. Despite a lifelong opposition to gay marriage, he has supported LGBTQ-identified friends and coworkers. He’s expressed admiration and congratulations for Elton John and longtime boyfriend David Furnish when they married in 2005 and attended the wedding of Jordan Roth, a Broadway producer, and Richie Jackson. He’s expressed dissatisfaction with the North Carolina Republicans who voted for transphobic bathroom laws. He’s even advocated for AIDs research throughout his career–raising $60,000 for AIDS research in 1992 and beginning a history of donating to the cause with a $25,000 contribution to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in 1987.
All of that appears to point to a man committed to the community, yet he isn’t always the ally we need. He has compared his stance on same-sex marriage to his “traditionalist” attitudes about golf putter sizes, expressed disgust over Michael Sam’s kiss with his boyfriend after being drafted to the NFL, and made transphobic comments about transgender Miss Universe Canada contestant Jenna Talackova four years ago.
Like your Facebook relationship status, it’s complicated. Trump has shown compassion and contempt toward the community throughout his career and he’s still a racist, xenophobic, habitual liar who prescribes to conspiracy theories and has garnered the support of white supremacists for political positions that have caused violence against minorities at his rallies. He’s still a truly awful person unfit to run the country, but at a time when the country is reeling from the attack on the LGBTQ community in Orlando, it’s important that we speak out against his lack of consistency on LGBTQ rights.
Stay tuned to Milk for more LGBTQ news.
Images via Tumblr and Getty.