As a white gay American I am scared to go home to Trump
My family all supported Trump
My name is Bradley Birkholz and I am a white gay American studying abroad in the United Kingdom. My student visa expires in less than a year and I’m scared to go home to a Trump presidency.
I expressed this on my Facebook profile the other day and was told: “Oh stop being such a victim it’s pathetic.”
It’s easy to say that I’m a sore liberal loser, or that I’m being dramatic. But to be clear, I’m not angry over the election because of the power or status Trump has gained, as both have severe limitations and a short lifespan.
I’m angry and afraid because of the culture of hate that has gained legitimacy through Trump’s bizarre rise to power. I’m angry that people beat up and insult minorities such as myself in his name. I’m angry that people think it’s okay to belittle those who aren’t white straight men and even violently enforce their childish, unsubstantiated bigotry.
I’m sad because people who call themselves Christians and profess to spread love to every corner of the world have just voted the most hateful, ungodly white man into the newly racially diverse White House. But most of all I’m sad because all of this affects me.
Sure, if I return to California right now I’m unlikely to be killed or beaten up for being gay. California is a very liberal state, after all. But not even California is immune to the world of hate that KKK endorsed Trump has created. If Trump is allowed to speak his mind along with all the twisted and hateful things within it, his followers are allowed to also. And they have been.
Ever since Trump began competing for the Republican nomination people have been speaking out about all the horrible, nasty things they think of the minorities of America and of the other nations of the world. The reality is that if I return home right now, I’m significantly more likely to encounter homophobia in the name of Trump. I have friends that are regularly beaten up for being gay, bi, or transgender. Many people don’t realise how severe the hate is against LGBT+ people worldwide. Just because some countries are safe for our community doesn’t mean everywhere else is, and right now few LGBT+ people in America feel safe; especially those who are members of ethnic minorities as well.
This is the reality of a Trump presidency. Hate and discrimination are rampant. People are dying because of this vote. Many are losing hope and suicide is at an all time high alert especially for LGBT+ people in America. There are few things worse than feeling physically and mentally unsafe in your own home, but in a family full of Trump supporters that is the reality I face if I decide to go home. That’s the reality many face.
I’m lucky. Lucky because I’m white. Lucky because I’m not noticeably camp. Lucky that if I do go home to the conservative pocket of California that I’m from that I’m less likely to be bullied or attacked for being myself. But apart from the heterosexual, wealthy, white man there are no winners in this scenario; just some who are going to suffer more than others.
I’ve never felt a stronger desire to stay away from America forever, and yet my heroes are the people who stay and keep fighting for what they believe in whilst trying to do everything in their power to protect the rights and freedoms of every American.
Not just the white supremacists.