Actions Speak Louder than Words: Trump’s Pride Month Tweet Message(s)

On this past Friday, President Trump tweeted about Pride Month, which has elicited quite polar responses from the public. Firstly, many are happy that Trump has finally acknowledged the recognition of Pride month, but further criticisms express ambivalence about his tweet, which reads as follows: “As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals….” Many think this tweet is not as celebratory as it appears, trying to appeal a little bit to more people than taking a stand. Journalist Michelangelo Signorile states that “The goal is less about getting much of the community’s backing– which will be near impossible– but more about keeping or getting the support of many others who might be turned off by blatant anti-LGBT bigotry.”

Further critics point out the inconsistencies between Trump’s words and his actions. His so-called “stance” to decriminalize homosexuality on a global level is seen as the bare minimum when it is not met with administrative actions that back up support of LGBT rights in our own country. Executive Director of the Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, commented, “Trump plans a global push to decriminalize homosexuality. Great, but that’s only step one. Step two is fighting discrimination against LGBT people, but Trump instead is promoting it.” One of the ways he is promoting discrimination which Roth is referring to is by stopping the passing of the Equality Act, a bill that would that would grant LGBTs federal civil rights and protect them against discrimination. Other “inconsistencies” between Trump’s words and actions include his ban on transgender people serving in the military, trying to remove sexual identity-related questions from the 2020 Census, rolling back Obama administration regulation protections for transgender medical rights, and going against transgender student protections in schools.

Some people on the right mock the left’s criticisms, claiming that liberals are “unwilling to give Trump credit for anything,” but others are taking the inconsistencies seriously, calling for people to look at the Trump administration actions. According to the Washington Post, “Some supporters of Trump view his support for decriminalizing homosexuality globally inclusive, but for those who have been in the fight for gay rights for a decade, urging countries to stop treating gay people as criminals is the bare minimum. . . For gay Americans whose political concerns go beyond the 2020 election, the president’s handling of LGBT rights will have implications long after he leaves the White House, be it 2020 or later.”