Trumpwatch: “… then they came for the LGBT”






By  2015, the situation of transgender students using toilets in US schools became a major contentious social issue. States such as Kentucky, Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi , Nevada, North Carolina, and Texas attempted to pass legislation that would have “legally required schools to ensure that children follow anatomical conventions when using gender-segregated school facilities: that children who were born boys but identify as girls use the boys’ restroom, and vice versa“, as The Atlantic pointed out in July 2015.

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The original version of the “Kentucky Student Privacy Act” would have  allowed students to sue “offenders” (transgendered students using toilets assigned to opposite gendered students) in a  state court for  “damages” up to US$2,500 each.

In April last year, North Carolina passed legislation that removed protection of LGBT from discrimination based on sexual orientation and a requirement that, in public buildings and schools, transgendered people use bathrooms corresponding to their genetic gender at birth.

There was a public outcry against what was perceived as unjust discrimination against transgender students.

Companies such as PayPal, Deutsche Bank, and others  cancelled investment in the state; singer Bruce Springsteen cancelled a rock concert; and dozens of planned  conventions were withdrawn,  in protest. One hundred and thirty other companies signed a letter to North Carolina’s  lawmakers demanding they  repeal the anti-transgender law.


Then: Obama

Last year, in a follow-up to an earlier 2014 directive, former President Obama, responded to  discrimination against  transgendered students in federally-funded schools.

Then-Attorney General, Loretta Lynch was unequivocal in condemning transphobia;

“There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex. ”

The directive – in the form of a letter from the Departments of Justice and Education – was sent  to all Federally-funded schools. It stated, in part;

“A school may provide separate facilities on the basis of sex, but must allow transgender students access to such facilities consistent with their gender identity.

A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so.

As is consistently recognized in civil rights cases, the desire to accommodate others’ discomfort cannot justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of students.”

In issuing a new directive not to engage in transphobic policies, Obama said;

“What happened and what continues to happen is you have transgender kids in schools. And they get bullied. And they get ostracized. And it’s tough for them.

My best interpretation of what our laws and our obligations are is that we should try to accommodate these kids so that they are not in a vulnerable situation.

We should deal with this issue the same way we would want it dealt with if it was our child and that is to try to create an environment of some dignity and kindness for these kids. 


Then: Trump

During last year’s presidential election campaign, Trump appeared to side firmly with the LGBT community.

In June, he tweeted;




In October, at a rally in Colorado, he borrowed a LGBT flag from a supporter in the crowd, and waved it on-stage;


GREELEY, CO - OCTOBER 30: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a rainbow flag given to him by supporter Max Nowak during a campaign rally at the Bank of Colorado Arena on the campus of University of Northern Colorado October 30, 2016 in Greeley, Colorado. With less than nine days until Americans go to the polls, Trump is campaigning in Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


And  in November, two activists from the so-called LGBTrump group wrote glowingly of Trump’s pro-LGBT credentials.


“ There are no signs that the LGBT community will be in the crosshairs of a Trump administration. In fact that evidence is just the opposite.  

In the 1980s & 1990s Trump donated heavily to charities that focused on the AIDS outbreak. When he floated a third party presidential run in 1999 he went on record saying he would consider adding sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act. Trump is also believed to be the first private club owner in Palm Beach — in this case Mar-a-Lago — to admit a gay couple. This is not the resume of an LGBT foe.


… Trump, thus, was telling evangelicals he was with them on the issue of life — our most fundamental right — but was not willing to do battle over civil marriage. This was the surest signal to the LGBT community that Trump was not a foe, but a friend.”

And Christopher R. Barron echoed his fellow Trumpista’s sentiments;

“ Donald Trump’s announcement on “60 Minutes” Sunday night, that he supports marriage equality, shocked almost as many on the left as his stunning victory at the polls last week. If they would have been paying attention, however, neither of these events would have come as a surprise.

Despite the left’s attempts to demonize Donald Trump as a homophobe during the campaign, the truth was and is that Donald Trump is unquestionably, the Republican Party’s most pro-gay presidential nominee in history. ”

Trump’s vice-President, Mike Pence, however was less supportive of the LGBT community;

Pence’s LGBT record doesn’t get much better either. On his website in 2000 he suggested that money used to support those with HIV should be directed to organisations “which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” That’s right ladies and gentlemen, Pence supports gay conversion therapy.

(Pence’s  comments were confirmed by


Now: Trump

On 22 February, the Trump Administration announced  to Federally-funded schools that Obama’s instructions banning transphobic policies was to be rescinded;

By the time he left office, Barack Obama had taken several steps to support transgender people, moves that “thrilled” advocates and outraged social conservatives still stinging from a same-sex marriage loss before the Supreme Court. But the tide is now heading in a new direction, and the Trump Administration on Wednesday took what LGBT rights groups view as a big step back, one they are describing as “bullying” transgender kids.

In a joint action, the departments of Justice and Education rescinded instructions that schools nationwide must respect the gender identities of transgender students, allowing them access to bathrooms and other facilities or single-sex programs that align with their sense of self. “The prior guidance documents did not contain sufficient legal analysis or explain how the interpretation was consistent with the language of Title IX,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Wednesday. ” The Department of Education and the Department of Justice therefore have withdrawn the guidance.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a  Republican who has expressed conservative positions on various issues;

  • Voted against re-authorising the Violence Against Women Act that would have extended VAWA’s protections to lesbians, gays, immigrants, and Native Americans,
  • Voted  against marriage equality,
  • Voted against adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes,

Sessions has earned a 20% approval-rating from the ACLU, on his anti-civil rights voting record; 7% by the NAACP, revealing his anti-affirmative-action stance, and  0% by the Human Rights Campaign, for displaying an openly anti-gay-rights stance on issues.

This is the reactionary homophobe appointed by a supposedly  “LGBT-friendly Trump” as America’s Attorney General.

In a surprising development, fellow conservative Republican; businesswoman; Charter Schools proponent, and Trump appointee as the new Secretary for Education, Betsy DeVos, opposed rescinding Federal protection for transgendered students. She was over-ruled by self-declared “LGBT-friendly Trump”;

But Ms. DeVos initially resisted signing off and told Mr. Trump that she was uncomfortable because of the potential harm that rescinding the protections could cause transgender students, according to three Republicans with direct knowledge of the internal discussions.

Mr. Sessions, who has opposed expanding gay, lesbian and transgender rights, pushed Ms. DeVos to relent. After getting nowhere, he took his objections to the White House because he could not go forward without her consent. Mr. Trump sided with his attorney general, the Republicans said, and told Ms. DeVos in a meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday that he wanted her to drop her opposition. And Ms. DeVos, faced with the alternative of resigning or defying the president, agreed to go along.

Ms. DeVos’s unease was evident in a strongly worded statement she released on Wednesday night, in which she said she considered it a “moral obligation” for every school in America to protect all students from discrimination, bullying and harassment.

White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, denied there was a split between DeVos, Trump, and Sessions, but a ‘tweet‘ from her suggested otherwise;




In revoking Obama’s order to  “allow transgender students access to such facilities consistent with their gender identity“, Trump has made life more difficult for transgendered young people. His decision to allow Jeff Sessions to impose his moralistic agenda to deny transgendered students to be in a safe environment to use bathroom facilities, puts extra stresses on people who are already facing a difficult time in their lives.

When a segment of American society yearns for a quasi-mythical, mind-numbingly simpler time of “mom, dad, and the kids”;




– they are craving an era  inimical to anyone who was not white, heterosexual, and patriarchal. That is the vision that Trump is buying into by refusing to respect the rights of LGBT Americans.

Far from his committment to the LGBT community to “fight for them”, as he tweeted on 14 June 2016, Trump is complicit in turning his back on  transgendered students.

Muslims, Mexicans, LGBT – Trump (and his groupies in the White House) is sectioning-of American society.

Who is next?

More than ever, German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor, Martin Niemöller’s statement  rings truer and truer every day…









The Atlantic: The K-12 Binary

The Guardian: Leading businesses take stand against states’ new anti-LGBT laws

The Advocate:  Here’s All the Business N.C. Has Lost Because of Anti-LGBT Bill

Time: United States Department of Education – Office for Civil Rights – Questions and Answers on Title IX and Single-Sex Elementary and Secondary Classes and Extracurricular Activities

Reuters: Obama says transgender bathroom directive based on law

The Guardian: Obama orders public schools to allow transgender students access to restrooms

Twitter: Trump – Thank you to the LGBT Community

The Independent: Donald Trump’s running mate thought HIV funding could be better spent on gay conversion therapy – time to put the rainbow flag down

The Hill: Memo to the LGBT community – Donald Trump is not your enemy

Fox News: Donald Trump will be a friend, an ally and an advocate for the LGBT community Shock Treatment

Time: President Trump Just Rolled Back Guidelines That Protected Transgender Students

Wikipedia: Jeff Sessions

On The Issues: Jeff Sessions on Civil Rights

Wikipedia: Betsy DeVos

New York Times: Trump Rescinds Rules on Bathrooms for Transgender Students

The Guardian: Trump administration revokes transgender students’ bathroom protections

Twitter: Betsy DeVos

Other bloggers

The Daily Blog: Family Fist exploiting transphobia for political moralistic point scoring is far more destructive than transgender toilet use

The Spinoff: Four things you can do when hate groups like Family First attack children

Previous related blogposts

Black Ops from the SIS and FBI?

The seductiveness of Trumpism

The Rise of Great Leader Trump

The Sweet’n’Sour Deliciousness of Irony: Russia accused of meddling in US Election

Trump escalates, Putin congratulates

Trumpwatch: Voter fraud, Presidential delusions, and Fox News

Trumpwatch: Muslims, mandates, and moral courage

Trumpwatch: The Drum(pf)s of War








= fs =


  1. I personally think gender discrimination in ALL toilets is needless (school, shopping malls, public etc). Toilets all have private stalls (no likes to be seen taking a shit) so there is no privacy issue, given that females always use the stall regardless if it’s a no. 1 or 2. No female would accidentally see a penis when the male is at the urinal given he has his back to them and no man would accidentally see a vagina given the woman is in the stall. After all, why don’t we have segregated his and hers toilets in our homes despite most homes being occupied by both men and women?
    Showers, of course, are an entirely different matter and the LGBT people can’t really make a fantastic argument here given that a trans person still has a penis or vagina despite what gender they identify with.

      • Whatever, it’s more than a reach to suggest “they took away LGBT rights, next they’re coming for YOU!”.
        This whole LGBT toilet freedom that some American’s (and you apparently) are obsessing over seems a smokescreen to a wider point: why do we have segregated toilets in the first place? Answer me that question, and the LGBT folks would have more of an argument.
        And BTW, NZ doesn’t allow transgender people to use NZ school toilets for the gender they identify with either, do they? So in other words you’re commenting about something that MIGHT happen in the US (nothing has changed at this stage) that will bring them back to where NZ transgenders are right now? Shouldn’t we be arguing to change policy at home rather than pointlessly try and influence it overseas?
        And BTW, this is almost certainly Pence policy, not Trump’s so calling it “PenceWatch” is probably more apropos (although I appreciate you probably can’t have one without the other).

        • That’s pretty sick, Nitrium. Imposing your weird beliefs on others is not a valid way to treat transgendered children and young people. You need to look past your own prejudices and understand what makes transgendered people’s needs different to that of hetero kids.

    • Wtf? Are you for real Nitrium??

      Frank was being polite to you in his response. Me, I’m going to call you out as a weirdo/pervo who seems to have some sort of exhibitionistic bathroom fetish. Well screw that shit, mate. Not every shares your kink.

      Especially not the transgender community who have a challenging time as it is from ignorant slobs who think their bodies are on-display for the likes of every sick puppy who wants a perv.

      You may get a kick of of standing at a urinal as women walk past you (!!!!!) but that reveals more about you than the issues Frank has raised, namely Trump’s utter betrayal of transgender kids at US schools. If that doesn’t raise your hackles, then you’re a strange fucked up character.

      For the record, transgender people deserve privacy. They deserve to feel comfortable going into a bathroom without being pointed at, jeered, or discriminated against. They deserve a hell of a lot more respect than the creepy post you wrote above.

      It’s fucken called being TOLERANT AND UNDERSTANDING!!

      I’d write more but I think scarlet-mod would probably delete this if I really wrote everything I wanted to

      • Oh come on, if it matters so much you could easily and cheaply put a chest high shield up behind the urinal area if looking at the back of a man taking a piss is so offensive to you. Toilet segregation has always been a puritan notion that doesn’t happen at home. The fact you associate natural necessary bodily functions with “kink” says a LOT more about your views than mine!

        “They deserve to feel comfortable going into a bathroom without being pointed at, jeered, or discriminated against.”

        And they wouldn’t be if all public/school toilets were unisex in the first place (since no one would know or care what you are).

  2. I have personal experience of having this issue forced on me. The parents of children in these schools who are not trans-gendered have not been consulted at all. Many parents don’t want their young children sharing changing rooms with someone of the opposite sex. However, they don’t have a say. At least with the federal law repealed, each state can make it’s own decision based on the will of the people.

    • This is a point which has been lost in all the noise. Teenage or pre-teen girls, are at a sensitive and vulnerable stage of their own body awareness (not quite the same, but did any of this readership see the girl in the marvellous Paddington movie who suffered from the disease “embarrassment”?). Some girls — OK, the shyer ones — of this age and stage would be mortified to have an apparent boy in the same loo. Their concerns need concern; but they don’t have the pushiness of those now speaking for transgender children. Were any readers here ever once adolescents? Empathy for them, please; as well as for those who were “born in the wrong body”.

      An answer?: 3 loos.

    • “Many parents don’t want their young children sharing changing rooms with someone of the opposite sex.”

      Oh FFS! We’re hearing the same crap we used to hear about gay and lesbian people interacting with children. Now that homophobia is being expressed as transphobia by a bunch of bigots??

      This is how Trump is able to discriminate against LGBT, because there are those in society who enable his prejudice and discrimination.

      This is how the Nazis got away with discrimination against Jews, because people allowed it to happen.

      • Well, you believe you’re hearing the same crap we used to hear about gays, maybe. Parents not wanting their young children to share changing rooms with kids of the opposite sex might reflect some prudery issues, but it isn’t discriminatory against gays or anyone else.

        • No Milt, you’re setting up an artificial distinction. Those are PRECISELY the same arguiments used against gays, especially during the 1986 homosexual law reform bill. I should know, I was around then, campaigning, and my gay brother copped an earful, including some nasty letters left in his letter box. (Anonymous off course.) Evidently some people ( parents?) didn’t think he should be around kids. He was a teacher. I say WAS. He quit and drives buses now.

          So yeah, those are the same arguments. But you’re so wrapped up in your privileged white male heterosexual world that you haven’t a clue what is going on around you. Ignorant people like you haven’t a clue until you’re made to understand.

          And stop using kids as an excuse for your bigotry. Own it if you’re going to spout it!!

  3. At least Trump scrapped the TPPA which saved our arse and now he is going after the “fake media” and all Corporate media which he may be helpful to rid the NZ complete control of our Corporate media too?

    • So that victory over the tppa has to be paid for at the expense of transgendered young people? That’s a high price to pay to oppose globalisation, cleangreen.

      It pisses me off that there’s so much I’ll-informed transphobia on a supposedly left-wing blog. What next, a bit of gay-bashing and bend-bashing? The people here should be ashamed for their prejudiced outpourings.

    • …then they came for the LGBT

      They did? When was this? Where are the camps? Surely it would have been reported on the news? Oh, wait, turns out it’s just Americans making a fuss about toilets again, which is bizarre, creepy and disturbing but really not a big deal for anyone not obsessed with toilets. Wake me up when they actually do “come for the LGBT.”

      • Milt, you don’t have to wait for “camps” to be set up. If we have to “Wake you up when they actually do “come for the LGBT” – then it’s too late.

        Defending the rights of minorities starts at the very moment they are subjected to harassment or a denial of their place in society, to be free from degrading policies. If you have to wait for “camps”, you’re not paying attention.

        You should not have to be “woken up”.

          • Rubbish, Milt. An injury to one is an injury to all, and denying transgendered people the right to use toilets account to their gender identification is a gross injustice. What are you going to say next, that gays and lesbians next “treatment” to get over their sexual orientation? Your prejudice is showing, put it away mate.

          • Bullshit for you, Milt because you are enclosed in your own binary-view of ther world. Newsflash, the idea of a male-female hetero hierarchy is long gone and your bigotry harks back to a horrible era of repression.

            Frank called you on your “camps” hyperbole and you have no answer for your simplistic reactionary opinions.

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