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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

Trump An ‘Enemy of the Constitution’ Declares Nicolle Wallace, Blasting Call to ‘Terminate’ Nation’s Founding Document

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MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace slammed Donald Trump as an “enemy of the Constitution” on Monday after the ex-president, over the weekend, called for the U.S. Constitution to be terminated.

Trump demanded “the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” in light of his most recent – and false – claim the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

That was Saturday, on his Truth Social account.

On Monday, Trump denied having ever said it, despite the post still being up.

Wallace characterized Trump’s call to terminate the Constitution “an extraordinary statement even by the standards of a failed wannabe autocrat who plotted a coup against his own government and recently dined with white supremacists.”

READ MORE: ‘Venom’: Experts Shocked as Gorsuch Angrily Accuses Colorado of Forcing Anti-LGBTQ Baker Into ‘Re-Education Program’

“The disgraced ex-president made his contempt for our democracy as clear as ever, when he called for the United States Constitution to be ‘terminated.'”

Quoting The Washington Post, Wallace said: “Trump’s message on his Truth Social platform reiterated the baseless claims he has made since 2020, that the election was stolen, but he went further by suggesting that the country abandon one of its founding documents.”

She also played a clip of Republican Congressman Dave Joyce of Ohio from Sunday’s ABC News.

Rep. Joyce in the clip twists and turns but ultimately admits that if Trump is the GOP nominee for president in 2024 he will vote for him.

READ MORE: Anti-LGBTQ Slurs on Twitter Up Over 800% as Musk Allows Thousands of Previously Banned Users Back: Reports

“Well, again, it’s early I think there’s gonna be a lot of people in the primary I think at the end of the day, you will have — wherever the Republicans tend to pick up I will fall in behind because that’s –”

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos interjected, asking,”Even if it’s Donald Trump, as he’s called for suspending the Constitution?”

“Again, I think it’s gonna be a big field. I don’t think Donald Trump’s gonna clear out the field like he did in 2016.”

“I will support whoever the Republican nominee is,” Joyce added.

“And I don’t don’t think that at this point he will be able to get there because I think there’s a lot of other good quality candidates out there.”

“He says a lot of things,” Joyce continued, refusing to denounce Trump.

“Let’s not speed past that moment,” Wallace urged. “This is exactly how Trump happened. All the Republicans in Washington and around the country said, [Trump] ‘says all sorts of stupid you know what. Dorsn’t mean he’s going to do it.'”

“He did all of it, all of it. And then some,” she chastised.

Watch below or at this link.

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'REGURGITATING RIGHT WING TALKING POINTS'

‘Venom’: Experts Shocked as Gorsuch Angrily Accuses Colorado of Forcing Anti-LGBTQ Baker Into ‘Re-Education Program’

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch appeared angry and even hostile at several points throughout Monday’s oral arguments in a case brought by a Colorado right-wing evangelical Christian website designer who is suing the state because she wants to be able to discriminate against same-sex couples who are getting married.

The case, 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, promises to be one of the most important of the term, and arguments extended more than two hours.

During one of the more heated moments, conservative Justice Gorsuch attacked Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson, claiming the state forced an infamous anti-LGBTQ baker who also went before the Supreme Court, winning his 2018 case in a very narrow ruling, into a “re-education program.”

RELATED: ‘What the Hell, Sam’: Justice Alito Slammed for Making ‘Joke’ About Black Children in KKK Costumes

Jack Phillips, a business owner who refused to bake cakes for same-sex weddings, citing his religious beliefs, was required to attend a class so he could become familiar with Colorado anti-discrimination law.

The Supreme Court’s ruling at the time called it, “additional remedial measures, including ‘comprehensive staff training on the Public Accommodations section'” of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.

Justice Gorsuch instead called it a “re-education program,” and slammed the state’s Solicitor General, Eric Olson, with it on Monday.

“Mr. Phillips did go through a re-education training program, pursuant to Colorado law, did he not, Mr. Olson?” Gorsuch asked the solicitor general.

“He went through a process that ensured he was familiar –” Olson responded, before Gorsuch cut him off.

“It was a re-education program, right?” the justice blared.

“It was not a ‘re-education program,'” Olson replied, holding his ground.

“What do you call it?” Gorsuch, dissatisfied, pressed.

“It was a process to make sure he was familiar with Colorado law,” Olson explained.

“Some might be excused for calling that a ‘re-education program,’” Gorsuch snapped.

“I strongly disagree, Justice Gorsuch,” Olson said, defending the law.

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, who provided the clip above, warns: “It does not bode well for the future of civil rights law that Gorsuch believes a state imposes ‘reeducation training’ on employers when it reminds them how to comply with nondiscrimination rules.”

RELATED: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Supreme Court Ruling in the Gay Wedding Cake Case

“Astounding that Gorsuch, A Supreme Court Justice,” tweeted Adam Cohen of Attorneys for Good Government, “Refers to Colorado giving courses on following civil rights law, As ‘reeducation training.'”

“Like being taught not to discriminate against LGBTQ is the same as being sent to a gulag for protesting communism in the Soviet Union,” he added.

Professor Elizabeth Sepper of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law says, “Justice Gorsuch describes education about antidiscrimination law and compliance as a REEDUCATION PROGRAM. This is beyond offensive. It was a central and SOFT tool of many civil rights movements and was essential to targeting market discrimination.”

Columbia Law School’s Elizabeth Reiner Platt, the Director of The Law, Rights, and Religion Project responded, “OMG Gorsuch repeatedly insists that a training on civil rights law is a ‘reeducation program.’ Good grief.”

Attorney Andrew L. Seidel, Vice President of Strategic Communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State tweeted, “WHOA. Gorsuch asks a very hostile question about sending the bakery to ‘a re-education program.’ He spits the phrase with venom and repeats it several times. He’s regurgitating right wing talking points.”

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'INAPPROPRIATE'

‘What the Hell, Sam’: Justice Alito Slammed for Making ‘Joke’ About Black Children in KKK Costumes

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The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in one of the most important cases of the term, a case that will determine if the nation’s highest court will or will not allow a person citing their personal religious beliefs to openly discriminate in the marketplace against same-sex couples.

In likely the most salient and important hypothetical example, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson described in great detail a photographer wanting to re-create scenes from 1940’s Christmases with Santa Clauses and children, in sepia tones, and making them historically accurate.

She asked the attorney representing the right-wing Christian website designer who does not want to have to provide her product to same-sex couples, if under her legal theory the hypothetical photographer would have to create photos of a white Santa with Black children.

Kristen Waggoner, the Alliance Defending Freedom‘s attorney arguing in favor of anti-LGBTQ discrimination, was forced to admit that the photographer would be able to say they would not take photos of Black children with a white Santa.

RELATED: Listen Live: SCOTUS Hears Christian Right Religion vs. LGBTQ Civil Rights Challenge

Later, Justice Samuel Alito, one of the Court’s most far-right jurists, decided to use Justice Jackson’s hypothetical analogy to make a point, and he did so by mockingly joking about Black children wearing KKK costumes.

“Justice Jackson’s example of that, the Santa in the mall who doesn’t want his picture taken with Black children,” Justice Alito began, getting the basics of the analogy incorrect.

“So if there’s a Black Santa at the other end of the mall, and he doesn’t want to have his picture taken with a child who is dressed up in a Ku Klux Klan outfit, now does that Black Santa have to do that?”

Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson replied, “No, because Klu Klux Klan outfits are not protected characteristics under public accommodation laws.”

READ MORE: ‘Anathema to the Soul of Our Nation’: Trump Pilloried for Demanding ‘Termination’ of the US Constitution

“And presumably,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor interjected, “that would be the same Ku Klux Klan outfit regardless whether if the child was Black or white or any other characteristic.”

That’s when Alito decided to make a “joke,” while thousands of Americans were listening to the Court’s live proceedings.

“You do see a lot of Black children in Ku Klux Klan outfits all the time,” he said, presumably sarcastically.

He then laughed, and some viewers in the gallery joined with him.

Many on social media were outraged and offended.

“He is so inappropriate today. And offensive,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, the former President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF). “The Black kids in KuKluxKlan outfits? Not funny. Is this the highest Court of the most powerful country in the world? Good grief.”

Minutes later, NYU School of Law Professor of Law Melissa Murray weighed in, saying, “I’m going to need Justice Alito to stop joking about seeing ‘Black children in Ku Klux Klan costumes.'”

“Seriously, what am I listening to?” she asked, to which Ifill replied, “Just awful.”

“The joke about Black kids in KuKluxKlan outfits?” Ifill also lamented. “No Justice Alito, these ‘jokes’ are so inappropriate, no matter how many in the courtroom chuckle mindlessly.”

Columbia University Professor of Law Katherine Franke tweeted, “Justice Alito is resorting to KKK jokes. Ha ha ha. As if what’s at stake here is funny, and isn’t taking place in a context in which LGBTQ people feel like we have a target on our backs. And, ahem – Klan jokes aren’t funny under any context.”

The Rewire News Group tweeted, in all caps, “I knew Alito wouldn’t be able to resist bringing up the Ku Klux Klan,” and then: “What the hell, Sam.”

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