The LGBT Community: Safe from Martians too?

First off, I didn’t watch it.

The acceptance speech.

Listening to a sociopath rant for what would turn out to be seventy-five minutes wasn’t what I needed to prepare for a restful sleep. Besides, an established liar is unlikely to reform himself on the night he accepts the nomination for president. I was right about that.

Statistics and facts (and I hope common sense) will expose the lies in the months to come, and they will be illuminated for the American voter to judge. I don’t worry about that. I do worry about a majority of Americans being deceived enough by his showmanship to accept implicitly his vision of the current chaotic and dystopian America.

But because I didn’t watch it, I missed any potentially funny moments in this apparently dark and doomsday-ridden tirade, but I would love to have seen a split-screen of Trump and Pence when the former vowed “to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.”

I’m not myself a member of that five- usually four-letter community. Neither is Mike Pence. In fact, VP-nominee Pence has done as much as humanly possible to destroy the lives of LGBTs in Indiana. For God’s sake he supports conversion therapy as a “cure,” something discredited by experts as useless and outright dangerous for decades. LGBT youth forced to endure it are 8.9 times as likely to be suicidal, 5.9 times as likely to be depressive, and three times as likely to use illegal drugs. Of course those are merely facts—and Pence the savant isn’t quite sure there’s a link between smoking and lung cancer just yet. He probably needs more time to weigh those facts.

So how foes Pence react to Trump’s assertion? No problem. After all, the statement implied protecting LGBTs from foreign ideology. It’s those Muslims again, bringing that darn Sharia Law to our U.S. of A., and if Trump knows anything, he knows Muslims. But the trouble is, he doesn’t know anything. He doesn’t read. He doesn’t comprehend. He doesn’t contemplate. He doesn’t empathize. And now it turns out he can’t even pander very well. Promising to protect any oppressed group would win him some votes—promising to protect that group only if there’s a hostile takeover from some third-rate foreign country is beyond cynicism. He might as well promise to protect them from dinosaurs…or Martians. Believe me, in Trump’s vision of ISIS ruling America, all of us—gay and straight—will have more on our minds than who can marry whom.

The danger to the LGBT community does not lie overseas: it’s right here, and that danger emanates from the ossified thoughts of people like Mike Pence—its sworn enemy—and Donald Trump who doesn’t know anything.

So I didn’t watch it—instead I read the New Yorker article in which Trump’s ghostwriter, Tony Schwartz, says flat out that Trump should never be president (read it—it’s scary). I’d also recorded “Mr. Robot” and watched that instead. Lots of self-doubt, contemplation, and introspection. It was a pleasant change.

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Chuck Radda

I'm a former high school English teacher, currently a literacy volunteer and novelist. I invite your responses right here or to chuckradda@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook and on Twitter—where I tweet annually at @chuckrad45.

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