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After Election, LGBTQ Youth Show Mix of Anxiety and Desire for Progressive Action in Trump’s America

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‘I Get Worried the World Will Leave Us Behind’

It’s not news that our world has fundamentally changed since the election of Donald Trump on November 8 of this year. Many of us have had to re-tool our expectations for what the next four years will look like. We here at The New Civil Rights Movement have certainly covered much of the fallout from the election, including the severe downturn in feelings of safety and security across the LGBTQ community. 

1.jpgAt the end of November, the Southern Poverty Law Center released the results of a study titled “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the 2016 Presidential Election on Our Nation’s Schools.” The study collected responses from over 10,000 “teachers, counselors, administrators and others who work in schools.” Shockingly, 90% of respondents said their school culture had been negatively impacted by election rhetoric, including a dramatic uptick in harassment using Confederate flags, Nazi salutes, and swastikas. 

Eight in ten educators said they’ve seen higher anxiety in marginalized students stuch as immigrants, Muslim students, and LGBTQ students, but because tensions have been running so high, many teachers are afraid to talk through the election and its aftermath in class, which could give students a chance to process their thoughts and work through their emotions in a safe environment.

NCRM spoke to a few students about what they’re thinking, feeling, and seeing in the weeks since the election.

2.jpgAlyx, a bisexual, trans high school student in New York who’s active in LGBTQ Jewish teen programs, tells us, “After the election, I’ve found myself much more detached from politics and the news. I don’t read The New York Times or the Guardian much anymore – two websites I was on all the time before the election. It’s just hard to read. It’s hard to watch while a man who preaches hate takes over the country.”  

She, like many other students we’ve spoken to, have turned the election into a call for action. “I’ve thrown myself more into the work I do, and that dominates more of my time than it used to. I try to be an advocate and an ally as best I can. One thing that I’ve tried to do is through my work planning events for LGBTQ Jewish teens is make sure people are informed about their rights and, for trans people, how to legally and medically transition.”

4.jpgSarah, a cis, lesbian student at Wellesley College says, “Even from my point of privilege as a white, middle class person in a safe environment, I’m scared. I’ve seen racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and everything else our PEOTUS lends his name to before and since the election. I’ve seen it on my own campus, and it scares me.”

In the absence of safe adults to speak to and confide in, many LGBTQ youth are turning to crisis hotlines such as The Trevor Project or Trans Lifeline. Both agencies have reported a sharp increase in election-related calls over the past month.

Not everyone thinks the next four years will be as taxing as others have predicted. Gregory Angelo, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, told VOA that Trump’s statement that he’ll “be a real friend to the LGBT community” shows that the anxiety shared by many is a result of “myths that were perpetuated by Democrats during the campaign” rather than from empirical evidence. 

However, in the weeks since his election, President Elect Trump has yet to nominate a single candidate for his cabinet who fully supports LGBTQ rights and equality. But he has placed high in his transition team at least one member of an anti-gay hate group.

Much like the greater population, not every young person is feeling anxious about a Trump presidency, but many are certainly affected by the emotions of those around them and the assumption that they’re supposed to think the same things their friends think. 

Sterling, a bisexual, trans high school student from Connecticut tells us, “I, personally, don’t feel scared for President Elect Trump to enter office. The reactions of Republicans and Democrats alike scare me.” Because he didn’t identify with either side’s reaction to the election, he was fearful he would be characterized as “a self-hating, ignorant LGBT person.”

But Sterling wasn’t immune to the anxiety many others are feeling, either. He continues, “The night it was announced that President Elect Trump won, a friend of mine who is a Democrat and transgender sent me a series of texts about how we’re all doomed and that my friend wants to kill themself.”

3.jpgThrough all of the rhetoric, one message has stayed true and clear: LGBT youth are looking to their teachers, their families, and their communities to support them, protect them, and celebrate them for who they are now and the adults they will soon become. And they see the possible opportunity in the fallout.

Sarah adds, “The one thing I’m grateful for in the aftermath of the election is that finally non-marginalized communities are seeing it too. The reason marginalized groups are targeted is because we are assumed to be powerless, but we are not. Queers, people of color, Jews, Muslims – we are everywhere and we are fighting. We’re using this to bring attention to the hate and discrimination that we’ve always faced, and although we’re scared, this is a time to band together to work toward equality.”

Chris, a recent Pennsylvania high school graduate who identifies as non-binary and pansexual sums up the current attitudes of many succinctly: “Since the election, I’ve been afraid. When I look at everything that’s been lined up to be destroyed I get worried that the world will just leave us behind, and sometimes I fear they may do worse. But I know that humanity’s real successes have been a direct result of opposition; change never is/was/will be easy, and that’s why despite whatever fears and doubts I have, I know we can make it through and be better for it.”

 

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Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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COMMENTARY

‘We’re in Trouble’: Steve Schmidt Issues Dire Warning About Changed GOP After January 6th Insurrection

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Appearing on MSNBC’s the 11th Hour with host Brian Williams, former GOP campaign consultant Steve Schmidt warned that Democrats need to accept that the Republican Party has changed drastically after four years of Donald Trump and the Jan 6th riot — and failure to recognize that simple fact puts the entire country at risk.

Using one of Schmidt’s tweets where he called Trump’s “truth” a “hideous deception” as a jumping-off point, the former Republican warned, “We’re in trouble.”

“Objectively, since the insurrection on Jan 6th, the Republican Party is far more radical,” Schmidt began. “Far more committed to the lie that Trump has told, fully committed to the authoritarian movement.”

“Should the events repeat themselves, the Republican Party is in a much different place than it was this past election with regard to being prepared to subvert the legal and lawful results,” he continued.

“The Democrats have done nothing since coming into office,” he added. “They have done nothing to prevent any of the abuses we have seen, done nothing to harden any of the infrastructures”

He later added, “This is a serious moment.”

Watch below:

 

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ANALYSIS

‘Something That’s Under Way’: Trump Aims to Use Russian Tactic to Be ‘Installed Without Winning’ in 2024 Says Yale Historian

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Former president Donald Trump and his GOP supporters are hoping to rely on a tactic that’s common in Russia to return him to the White House in 2024, according to one prominent expert on authoritarianism.

“As someone who follows contemporary Russia, there is a Russian phrase that comes to mind, which is the ‘administrative resource,'” author and Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder told MSNBC on Friday. “What the administrative resource means in Russian is that sure, you have an election, but the people who are running the election are going to determine how the election turns out. What the Republicans are going for is precisely that thing, the administrative resource.”

Snyder then explained how this mechanism works and how Trump and Republicans might apply it during the next election.

“Historically speaking, what we know about a ‘big lie’ is that because of its very scale, it’s not about truth or not truth; it’s about living in a kind of alternative reality,” Snyder added. “What we’re looking at is people who believe in or pretend to believe in this Big Lie, actually carrying out our elections. And the problem with this, or one of them, is that since these people have already claimed that the other side cheated, that basically legitimizes their cheating. In other words, if you talk about the Big Lie now, you’re basically promising to cheat the next time around, and that’s very concerning.”

He concluded by saying that this is a clear and present danger, not merely a theoretical one.

“The scenario for 2024 for most influential people around Donald Trump, which unfortunately means one of the political parties, is precisely to be installed without winning the election,” Snyder said. “I don’t think it’s something that could happen. I think it’s something that’s under way, and the question is, can we accept this reality in time to take the measures we need to take to prevent it?”

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Ghoulish’ Lauren Bobert Branded a ‘Sociopath’ for Attacking Alec Baldwin: ‘Grieving Family Just Lost Their Loved One’

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U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, the QAnon Republican lawmaker and gun rights activist who owns a bar named Shooters in Rifle, Colorado, is being criticized after posting a tweet mocking and attacking Alec Baldwin. The well-known actor who spent several years playing Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live” shot and killed award-winning cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, apparently by accident, with a prop gun on set less than 24 hours ago.

Boebert dug up a seven-year old tweet Baldwin had sent in support of Michael Brown, the 18-year old Black man fatally shot by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer.

She then added a snide and ugly remark and posted it to Twitter, only too happy to use the pain of Hutchins’ grieving family, friends, and industry as a tool to attack Baldwin:

The outrage was palpable, even from a few on the right, like former Trump White House Director of Strategic Communications:

A Democratic U.S. Congressman weighed in:

This MSNBC correspondent made a keen observation:

And many others:

 

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