On November 9, the elections were being watched from all over the country, including New York City. Pace University’s students were only some of the many watching. Hopes were high for Hillary in this predominately democratic school, yet where the majority of students hoped their home states would turn blue, they watched in horror as they turned red. As the night went on, students made their way back to their dorms, in fear of what the results would be. At around 1 A.M., on November 9, Trump was elected President of the United States. Months after the election, Pace University’s Queer Society follows up on the elections by reflecting on the situation and Pace’s overall LGBTQ+ community is swinging into action as a result.
Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America. Land of the free, home of the brave. Although this has been the motto of the country for as long as there’s been a national anthem, it has recently come into question. The LGBTQ+ community has come together to rally in response, due to the uncertainty of their stance in society that came with the election of both the president and his VP. “Since the election, it’s been an interesting transition to see people rally together. In the millennial generation, intersectionality will be playing a huge role in this”, says Pace University’s Queer Society President Sidney Hong.
With the start of a new semester, comes new plans and events, especially in response to President Trump. Pace University’s very own president and secretary to the Queer Society weigh in on President Trump’s inauguration, and how it will effect not only the very nature of the students in the school, but their day to day lives as human beings.
The Queer Society’s mission statement focuses on the bridging between Pace’s own LGBTQ+ community and that of New York City’s, as is reflected in Secretary Claire Ritz’s following statement: “To see his [President Trump’s] promises come to life is disheartening but is a good reminder of the strength of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the Pace community. It just goes to show that as bad as things get, there’s always something to rely on”.
The White House has released a statement on January 31st saying that President Trump will continue to enforce Obama’s pro-LGBTQ order. But members of the LGBTQ+ community remain concerned that Vice President Mike Pence’s record on LGBTQ+ issues are an indication of what’s to come. Both Sidney and Claire reflect on this situation and what it could mean for the LGBTQ+ community.
“It’s a good thing, but given Pence and his idea that being gay is something that can be cured shows that Trump represents something more than his own ideas and ideologies. This one win is only minor to everything else” Claire says.
Sidney adds, “When it comes to the LGBTQ+ community, Trump is only thinking about the white, gay, cis-gender male. When it comes to these rights, it’s not just about workers rights, but the rights of those who don’t fall under the mainstream LGBTQ+ and how to include them in these policies.”
“Given the diversity of New York City, it’s important to not alienate anyone who might think differently, and it’s important to recognize that that activism might not be protesting”. Claire adds.
Given that this state and school are more left wing, finding those of opposing views is difficult. However, they do exist.
“I voted for Trump. I’m not ashamed to admit it. He’s going to make America great again!”, one student said.
Another stated: “I’m not racist, I just think the immigrants should stay where they belong. And that’s on the other side of the wall.”
President Trump has been in office for less than a month, but has already used his presidential abilities to a controversial extent. Whether it be the travel ban or the motion to build the wall, he is inevitably rallying together people of many identities, those who are for and against him.
President Trump’s election has given the Queer Society a new incentive, and they now have a new approach to their club.
Sidney states, “With the situation, we’re going to try and approach our agenda in a multitude of ways that prior we didn’t really put as much priority in. With the new policies coming out, it’ll be very education based. We want to make sure that people in our community know how exactly this will affect them. In addition, there will be more priority in activism and rallying”.
For more information, attend the Queer Society’s weekly meeting on February 21, Room W602, from 3:25–4:25.