Bill Kaelin

Bill Kaelin: Pride trumps hate

I have often said that if the Republican Party would kick the radical Christian right to the curb and truly run on a platform keeping government out of people’s lives including out of our bedrooms and churches, I could maybe see myself voting for one someday. The thought of exercising that right this year however scares the shit out of me as history has shown us that fear will do a lot of fucked up things to a lot of people.

Fear can incite violence against the marginalized and misunderstood. It can cripple people into not living their lives to their fullest potential. It can keep many LGBT people in the closet for years, and this election year it can also surprisingly make some LGBT people vote for the ultimate fearmonger: Donald Trump.

The Log Cabin Republican is somewhat of a gay anomaly. Until the birth of social media, it was one of those things that was mostly kept in the closet and only heard about during casual conversations about one-night stands. Friends would rehash hookups with conservatives by saying things like,“He was totally cute, sex was just okay, I thought he may have some potential, until I found out he’s a Republican.”

Hearing rumors of gay people actually voting for Donald Trump is sort of like hearing the ultimate of all gay urban legends regarding a certain Hollywood star who loved gerbils. Both stories are terribly hard to believe, yet sadly fetishes with furry friends are way more funny and false than the truthful fact that some LGBT people will actually vote for Trump to be the leader of the free world.

If you are really proud of your community and genuinely care about your own civil rights and the rights of all people, how could you in good conscience vote for a man who has publicly said he would appoint judges that would overturn SCOTUS’ same-sex marriage ruling? How can you get behind someone who just five weeks after the Pulse tragedy had a private meeting with over 400 of the most homophobic, bigoted and powerful anti-LGBT leaders in the country at the scene of the crime? This is a man that said America was going to hell because the NFL defended openly gay player Michael Sam, yet where are people’s outrage that America may be going to hell in a hand-basket for possibly electing a man who is a proven lying demagogue?

Mr. Trump has not only bashed the LGBT community but has made fun of the handicapped, has made disgusting sexist remarks about women, has labeled our Mexican-American friends as rapists and drug dealers, wants to ban entry to anyone practicing the Muslim faith, and now is encouraging racial profiling of African-Americans by encouraging stop-and-search practices. Basically, Mr. Trump is in it to win it for himself and anyone else who is straight, white and Christian, which goes against everything our rainbow flag stands for.

Mr. Trump’s vice presidential candidate, Mike Pence, also has a long history of LGBT intolerance, including opposing foreign governments efforts to decriminalize homosexuality, opposing the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, actually writing letters encouraging businesses not to hire LGBT people, and leading a failed discrimination crusade against LGBT rights as the governor of Indiana that ultimately cost the state millions of dollars.

The Log Cabin Republicans this year even begged the Republican National Committee not to pass the most anti-gay platform in years to failing efforts. Sadly, just like a bullied child who gets called a faggot on the playground, some gay Republicans will still continue to ask to be a part of this clique and exercise the most blatant form of self-hate by voting against their own self interests.

During this year’s Pride celebration, it is our responsibility as freedom fighters that we do not forget about everyone else who is still fighting for their own. We have to stand behind all marginalized communities and ultimately protect the rights we have just earned because they can all be taken away with just one Supreme Court nomination.

The definition of Pride is having a dignified sense of what is due to oneself, and to have self-respect and self-esteem. This election cycle, if you truly love yourself, please don’t vote for a party who genuinely hates you, because at the end of the day only love can truly trump hate.