The president of Gays for Trump thinks the "trans agenda" may slow down gay progress
If you ask this Trump fan, the T in LGBT is getting way too much attention — and the G is losing out because of it.
On Monday night, after Caitlyn Jenner's appearance on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight, president of Gays for Trump Peter Boykin tweeted out a response to Jenner's appearance, warning those reading what might happen if Jenner's conservative trans politics are allowed too much room to grow.
"The trans rights agenda, although valid, is separate than the gay rights agenda," Boykin wrote. "We must NOT allow their agenda to hijack or slow our progress."
In an email statement to Mic, Boykin said that, in his experience, the trans community has recently begun to care only about their own rights. He added that, in the past, he's been "told off" by some members of the trans community who did not want to be associated with his "'gay' lifestyle."
Boykin clarified that by talking about a gay agenda and a trans agenda, he was pointing out that the LGBT community seemed "to be separating in our own agendas anyway."
"From experience, I have never seen a really united 'gay community,'" he said. "Everyone has their own chapter and their own agenda."
He added, "My point is the 'gay community' is diverse and they all have their own agendas, and so do the trans people."
Given that Jenner's conservative trans agenda pretty much stops and starts at bathroom access, it's unclear if Boykin's tweet referred to the reality star's politics or the larger transgender rights movement in general. Regardless, by trying to separate the trans movement out from the gay rights movement, Boykin not only misunderstands gay liberation, but also doesn't give credit where it's due.
Despite attempts by Roland Emmerich's Stonewall to alter the narrative of queer history, transgender women gave birth to the gay liberation movement. Trans women of color like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera led the fight against police who tried to shake down every letter in the LGBT community, not just other trans women.
Since then, gay Americans have won legal victory after legal victory, including having the Supreme Court decide that same-sex marriage would be the law of the land. Boykin may be worried that the trans agenda slows down the gay one, but the opposite is actually true. Trans rights were sidelined while gay men became mainstream. Many trans people are still waiting to use the restroom in peace or live their lives without the threat of being killed.
Boykin's original tweet echoes other conservative queer folk who, rather than embrace trans people, have scapegoated them. In December, Milo Yiannopoulos mocked a transgender woman who was sitting in the audience because she fought to have access to the public facilities that matched her gender.
Boykin did acknowledge in his statement what trans women did to fight for gay rights.
"I don't deny our gay history and I know we had to drastically work for our rights," he said. "But those days are over. We can work legislatively without scare tactics and let us not deny the work of conservative groups like the Log Cabin Republicans and Go Proud that helped get the GOP more gay friendly to the notions of our rights."
He added, "As I have said before you can cry and riot in the streets or you can come inside and sit at the table but you will not get anything done properly anymore calling everyone a racist, or transphobic, or homophobic because human nature calls that if you're being bullied by anyone you're going to defend yourself."
Apr. 25, 2017, 6:30 p.m.: This story has been updated.