Tuesday evening, the New York Times published an article on the death of Jamel Myles, a 9-year-old boy who committed suicide after facing intense bullying from his peers at school. In this article, Myles’ grandmother, Jacque Miller, gives the following quote:
“The statement is that it takes a village to raise a child is true,” she said. “And the village is broken.”
What Miller says is exactly true: in an age of constant bigotry we are presented with by the current administration, now more than ever is it vital that we are able to recognize the deep-rooted hatred that exists within the world.
When GLAAD’s “Accelerating Acceptance” survey results were released January of this year, the results were shocking. For the first time since the survey began, the results showed a drop in the American people’s acceptance of queer identities, in all seven areas that the survey measures. Sure, the changes weren’t dramatic, but it still indicates the slow, backwards crawl the country has been making for the past two years.
Along with the results of GLAAD’s poll, the number of LGBTQ people reporting discrimination in the workplace has jumped 11 percent, from 44 percent in 2016 to 55 percent in 2017. The reason for these changes isn’t exactly rocket science. It’s been obvious that since the 2016 presidential election, the Trump administration is all about sending out signals that division and prejudice are the normal state of affairs for the realm. Given, the United States itself was founded on the principles of white supremacy and bigotry, but that’s a topic for another time. The election of Donald Trump has once again revealed the racist, queerphobic, bigoted, hateful underbelly of the United States.
With the Masterpiece Cakes ruling, failing to mention the queer community on World AIDS day, trying (although so far failing) to ban trans people from the military, as well as selecting a Vice President in Mike Pence, along with a slew of other things, Trump has shown again and again his complete lack of regard for the well-being of the queer community. But the worst part is the implicit permission Trump has given for people to express their hatred.
According to the campaign for Human Rights, twenty-eight trans people were killed in 2017, most of them women of color. We still have a long way to go, and the current administration is only pushing us back.