Like a majority of Americans, members of the LGBT community are reeling from the travesty that is the Trump/Pence regime which Congressional Republicans are aiding and abetting through their cowardice and refusal to assert their power to rein in the chaos flowing from the White House. But unlike straight Americans, LGBT Americans are also faced with an onslaught of anti-LGBT bigotry and bullying that is lowing not only from the Trump/Pence regime, but also from GOP controlled state legislatures and falsely named and well funded "family values" and "Christian" organizations emboldened by the misogyny condoned by the White House. A piece in Time magazine by Matthew Shepard's mother looks at the daily assaults on LGBT children and youths. However, it must be remembered that these same organizations have white supremacist and anti-minority agendas. Simply put, they and their supporters are not nice or decent people. Here are excerpts:
Aren’t you exhausted by the constant barrage of news — the proposed legislation against our communities and the reports of hate crime after hate crime? One fifth of these crimes are now reported to be done in President Donald Trump’s name.
In the 19 years since my son Matthew Shepard was murdered because of his sexuality, my foundation has seen the ups and downs in the numbers and targets of hate crimes. But in the last few months there has been a dramatic increase in reports across the spectrum.
Hatred is not nature. It is nurture. No one is born with hatred in their heart — it is learned behavior. People learn to hate in the same way they learn to love. The difference is: Who are the educators?
Unfortunately, groups like Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which describes itself as a conservative Christian organization, exploit children in the name of hate. It parades them around a courtroom for frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit. One prime example is a suit filed recently against a school district in Boyertown, Pennsylvania, claiming that a high school student was sexually harassed when he saw a transgender boy changing in the school locker room.
Children don’t deserve to be thrust into this spotlight. They’re just kids — kids being bullied by an international, multimillion-dollar anti-LGBTQ hate group.
The Southern Poverty Law Center labeled ADF as a hate group this year because of their longstanding history attempting to criminalize LGBTQ people. . . . . These same lawyers are now trying to take advantage of young people who are “uncomfortable with” transgender students using the same restroom or locker room in school districts across the country.
The same strategies that were employed during segregation era — the strategy of selecting white people who “became ill” or “felt uncomfortable” sharing a water fountain with their black neighbors. We already know how this will play out over the course of history. It was never about water fountains, and it's not about restrooms or locker rooms now. It is a misguided attempt to remind people that in their world view the trans community is not worthy of equal treatment under the law.
Title IX protects students from sex discrimination, and the Department of Education put out a guidance clarifying that that includes gender identity — but recently the Trump Administration decided to take away that guidance, along with the hope it brought to so many transgender children. LGBTQ students were rightfully protected from harassment and humiliation until then. The governments — local, state and federal — as well as anti-LGBTQ hate groups and the religious right are teaming up to tear these protections away.
Across the country, many of the anti-LGBTQ bills introduced into state legislatures are actually drafted by hate groups or rely heavily on their “model policy.” When LGBTQ youth are exposed to this political vitriol, it sends the message that society is rejecting them, too. We should be protecting our children from these well-funded bullies.
I would further add that one must remember that the leaders of these hate groups are typically making very plush livings marketing hatred.