The Reality for the LGBTQ+Under the Trump Administration

Warning – Contains sensitive information


Michelle Sherman, EMC Intern/Staff Writer



Warning – Contains sensitive information


On July 22nd 2016, a then presidential candidate, Donald Trump said in a speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland that he “will do everything to protect LGBTQ+ communities from violence. He failed. 

Throughout his term as President of the United States, despite him vouching for the well-being of LGBTQ+ citizens, the actions of the Trump Administration has shown that those words were not made in good conscience. Within his term as president  he has pushed many anti-LGBTQ+ redirect and policies, whether it’s the workplace, healthcare, schools, housing, families, representation, or in the world. Below lists many examples of his failure to protect the American LGBTQ+ citizens that he swore to protect. 


In the Workplace…

  • Supported employment discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. The Trump administration submitted sessions to the U.S Supreme Court supporting discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. 


  • Banned transgender service members from the military. Against the expert advice from military leadership, medical authorities, budget analysts, and 70% of Americans, Trump and Pence banned transgender people from serving in the military. 


  • Rolled back Obama-era non-discrimination protections. Trump’s Department of Justice upended DOJ interpretations of the Civil Rights ACT.


  • Issued rule to license discrimination. Allows federal contractors to claim a religious exemption when firing LGBTQ+ workers. 


  • Kicked people living with HIV out of the military because of their status. The Department of Defense instituted “Deploy or Get Out” policy. 


In Health Care…

  • Undermine Section 1557 Rule. Removed explicit protections for LGBTQ people in healthcare programs and activities. 


  • Created a Religious Discrimination Division. HHS created a new office whose sole purpose would be to defend physicians and other medical professionals who decide to refuse care, which included LGBTQ+ patients. 


  • On January 22nd, 2019 the Supreme Court allowed Donald Trump, the United States president, to establish a ban of all transgenders from the United States Military. He stated that transgenders were “too costly.” This statement has been proven false by numerous sources. At most, the military would be paying $8.4 million on transgender patients, which is .13% of the total medical budget. However, the United States Military spends ten times the amount that transgender veterans would need on Viagra. Trump claims that Viagra “Helps with PTSD,” however the public knows his true intentions. 


In Housing…

  • Allowed emergency shelters to deny access to transgender and gender nonconforming people. Former HUD Secretary Ben Carson proposed a rule to permit emergency shelters to deny access for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals who are homeless. 


  • Placed transgender incarcerated persons in the wrong prisons. The Federal Bureau of Prisons rolled back on an Obama-era policy that housed transgender prisoners consistent with their gender identity. Transgender individuals experience sexual assault at higher rates than average, and with this decision it increases the risk of assault. 


In Families…

  • Allowed foster care programs to discriminate while accepting tax-payer funds. The Trump administration proposed a federal regulation that would remove nondiscrimination requirements from the Department of Health and Human Services. 


  • Refused visas to partners of diplomats. The State Department refused visas for same-sex partners of some diplomats and U.N. workers if they were not married. 


In Representation…

  • Erased transgender people. Trump’s HHS proposed a new definition that would narrowly define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by birth. 

  • Eliminated information on LGBTQ+ rights, mentions, and representation on government websites. Within hours of Trump’s swearing-in, pages on LGBTQ rights and recognition were removed from government websites, including the White House. 

  • Blocked questions regarding sexual orientation from consideration for census. Trump and Pence have sought to block questions on sexual orientation from the census in order to erase LGBTQ people from official counts. This would, in turn, prevent the collection of crucial data that could help improve government programs and resources for LGBTQ people.


In Schools…

  • Suggested it is acceptable for schools to discriminate against LGBTQ+ students. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has refused to rule out federal funding for schools that discriminate against LGBTQ students and has declined to state she would otherwise intervene should discrimination occur.

  • Sexual Assault. DeVos rescinded Title IX rules related to schools’ obligations to address sexual harassment, including sexual violence. By eliminating the Obama-era rules, DeVos increased the standard of proof from “preponderance of the evidence” to “clear and convincing evidence” making it more difficult for survivors of sexual assault to obtain justice. LGBTQ people are disproportionately affected by sexual assault and harassment, and the stigma that many LGBTQ people face can make it more difficult for survivors to report.
  • Eliminated language protecting LGBTQ+ children participating in the 4-H program. The Trump-Pence Administration ordered 4-H programs to remove a policy specifically welcoming LGBTQ children in the 4-H program, which led to the firing of an official who protested.


In the World…

  • Embassy Pride Flags. Pence defended the State Department directive to ban U.S. embassies across the world from flying the LGBTQ Pride Flag during Pride Month.

  • Brunei. The Trump-Pence administration has refused to condemn a Brunei law that imposes barbaric punishments on LGBTQ people, including death by stoning, torture and whipping.


  • Left the U.N. Human Rights Council. Trump and Pence, over LGBTQ and other issues, removed the United States from the U.N. Human Rights Council.



  • Jokes about Pence’s desire to hang LGBTQ+ people. In 2017, Trump joked about Vice President Pence’s anti-gay agenda saying “Don’t ask that guy—he wants to hang them all!”

  • Appointed anti-LGBTQ+ Judges. Trump has appointed anti-LGBTQ judges with alarming anti-LGBTQ records to appointments at every level of the judicial system, including anti-equality Supreme Court Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh and federal nominees Kacsmaryk, Mateer, Bounds, Vitter. Menashi and others.


Although there are many examples displayed above that have shown the Trump administration’s failure regarding the LGBTQ+ communities, there is still much more evidence that cannot be compiled into one article, unless it became a series. As of Saturday, November 7th Joe Biden will be the President-Elect, with this new administration coming in January many of the LGBTQ+ communities are in hopeful merriment. 


Works Cited

“Donald Trump.” GLAAD, 26 Oct. 2020,

“A List of Trump’s ‘Unprecedented Steps’ for the LGBTQ Community.” HRC,

“Trump in 2016: I ‘Will Do Everything’ to Protect LGBT Communities.” The Washington Post, WP Company,

“Trump’s Timeline of Hate.” HRC,

Merelli, Annalisa. “The US Military Indeed Spends a Lot on Viagra-Because It Helps Veterans with PTSD.” Quartz, Quartz,