In the early days of his presidency, Donald Trump took a series of steps that many have viewed as explicitly anti-LGBTQ. For example, within hours of his taking office, the official White House web page dedicated to LGBTQ issues was deleted. Then, in early February, it was reported that the White House was drafting an executive order that would roll back protections designed to protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination. This is in addition to the many outspokenly and unapologetically anti-LGBTQ candidates Trump appointed to his cabinet.
With this “leadership” from the White House, it is perhaps unsurprising that Republicans in Congress are feeling emboldened to reveal their own biases. For example, Mike Enzi (R-WY) told a group of children last week that if a man wearing a tutu gets beat up, it is the man’s fault “because he kind of asks for it.”
As reported by the Huffington Post, “[Enzi] told a group of high school and middle school students last week that it’s fine to be a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer community ― but if you’re too open about it, don’t be surprised if you get picked on.”
Enzi continued: “We always say in Wyoming you can be anything you want to be as long as you don’t push it in somebody’s face.”
Telling high school and middle school students that members of the LGBTQ community should stay in the closet or risk getting assaulted is incredibly backwards, and potentially dangerous. Unfortunately, Enzi’s comments are symptomatic of Trump era sentiments regarding minority and marginalized communities generally, and the LGBTQ community specifically.