His name was Jamel Myles, and he was 9 years old. Jamel came out as gay over the summer and told his mom he wanted to wear more girly clothes. His mom supported the terrified youngster and told him she still loved him.
School was another story.
After coming out to classmates and enduring four days of relentless bullying, this sweet fourth grader took his own life on Thursday, Aug. 23.
The U.S. Department of Education under Trump’s regime has made clear: They aren’t interested in protecting LGBT kids from bullying in schools.
Look, Hillary Clinton wasn’t my first choice for president of the United States, but I voted for her. Did she misuse emails? Probably. Has she made mistakes?
Sure, but who among us hasn’t?
Besides, the alternative scared the hell out of me.
And now? Well, I’ve never been one to say “I told you so,” but goddammit! I TOLD YOU SO!
Here’s a statistic I found from 2016: LGBTQ voters favored Hillary over Trump by an 86 percent to 14 percent margin. Impressive? Not to me.
I’d like to have a serious talk with the 14 percent that thought Trump was a better choice!
But at least they voted! I’m continually shocked at the number of people from the LGBTQ community who sat out the 2016 election. I want to ask them: Do you see what you’ve done?
If you didn’t vote — or worse, if you voted for Trump — because you “didn’t like” Hillary, you put a misogynistic, racist, small-minded Twitter troll into the White House, one who is probably the most anti-LGBT president to ever occupy the Oval Office.
Here’s a short re-cap of the hate running rampant under Trump’s so-called leadership:
• 16 states — including Texas — have filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging the court to make it legal to fire employees who are transgender. Last October, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed federal policy saying transgender workers were protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
• The U.S. Justice Department decided last July to argue that this same Civil Rights Act also doesn’t protect gay workers. They lost this case, but the federal government under Trump has not reversed its stance that it is legal under federal law to fire workers for being gay.
• The Bureau of Prisons in May rolled back rules protecting transgender prisoners from sexual assault, and is under orders from the Trump administration to use “biological sex” to determine where inmates will be housed.
• The Trump administration sided with the bakers in the Masterpiece Cake lawsuit. The Christian baker had refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
• Just weeks after Trump took office, his administration withdrew guidance that said Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 bans anti-transgender discrimination in federally-funded schools. In April of this year, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made it clear that her department wouldn’t be investigating or taking any action on any complaints filed by transgender students banned from restrooms that match their gender identity.
• The Trump administration has made numerous attempts to ban transgender soldiers from serving in the military.
• AG Sessions last October instructed federal agencies and attorneys to protect religious liberty in a vague memo that could be construed to give cover to those who would discriminate against women and members of the LGBT community.
• Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services rewrote policy giving doctors the right to use religious objections to refuse care to transgender patients.
• LGBT people will once again NOT be included in the Census in 2020.
• Last but not least, add in Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s weird obessession with where transgender people go to the bathroom.
When you look at the situation overall, it paints a pretty grim picture. There is a clear and unambiguous pattern of animus within the federal government and also in the government of Texas. We are clearly being systematically singled out — not for any benefit to society, but to satisfy a hateful, power-hungry administration that has been bought and paid for by the religious right.
There is historical precedent for this kind of systematic oppression, and it makes my blood run cold. If you think marriage equality was the last brick in the wall of LGBT equality, you could not be more wrong.
And the biggest danger is just ahead: The Senate is set to begin confirmation hearings on Brett Kavanaugh, and if he is confirmed, it will virtually guarantee a rubber stamp on a whole slate of anti-LGBT cases and the potential repeal of Roe v Wade. (Kavanaugh, Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Gorsuch would provide a reliable 5-4 majority no matter how loud the dissent.) If you like having the Liberty Institute and Heritage Foundation picking your Supreme Court and federal judges (lifetime appointments) then you got what you wished for.
The time has come to get off your butts and make some noise. Call your representatives; register to vote, and actually VOTE in the midterm election!
Complacency lost us the 2016 presidential election. Learn from that and never let it happen again.
Leslie McMurray, a transgender woman, is a former radio DJ who lives and works in Dallas. Read more of her blogs at lesliemichelle44.wordpress.com.