20:40, December 12 143 0

2016-12-12 20:40:17

 

Trumped-up: Being gay and disabled in a red state one month after the election

It was the day after the election, and there I sat on the bus, lost in thought on my way to work. Outside my window, Trump-Pence signs, ever so mockingly, littered the side of the highway. Each one seemed to blur into the next.

“I wonder how many celebrities will actually move out of the country now?!” I heard a fellow passenger joke. “Yeah, better to be rid of them!” chimed in the driver.

For many in my home state of Montana that day, Trump’s win was cause for celebration. People, who only days before seemed agitated by such a never-ending election, were suddenly beaming. “I’m excited for what he is going to do for this country,” I heard one radio broadcaster announce.

Even my family, passionate Trump supporters, couldn’t help but cheer, despite the fact that I am a member of not one but two communities he openly mocked during his presidential campaign—gay and disabled. “I know you are sad,” my mom texted me that morning. “I am sorry for your loss.”

“Congrats on your win,” I responded. Even though I knew my mother’s heart was in the right place, it was still hard to take.

It was real. Donald Trump was going to be our president; and here I was, a gay liberal snowflake with cerebral palsy, stuck in the deeply red state of Montana. Montana, the same state that, as my boyfriend described, has more Jesus and anti-abortion signs than people. The same state that, up until 2013, still had a law deeming gay sex a crime despite the whole Lawrence V. Texas SCOTUS ruling that struck down sodomy laws back in 2003.

It all seemed so hopeless. One month later, it still does at times. The night after the election, I posted a status on Facebook, which looking back, reads like a dramatic inner-monologue straight out of Gossip Girl:

Dramatic or not (xoxo, you know you love me!), the truth is, Montana can be an odd place to be gay, especially post-election.While it’s previously made strides for the LGBTQ community–we can have sex legally now!–there still remains this ultra-conservative yet sometimes-acceptable mentality. For instance, you can hold hands, as long as you’re careful with where. Parking lots are totally okay, but once you’re inside the grocery store, say, picking out avocados together, that’s another story. Once, when my boyfriend and I got “too close” in a store, a stranger offered us “eternal life” if only we accepted Jesus into our hearts.


Random movies

  • This Kiss (2007)  

    This Kiss (2007)

    What happens when best friends from childhood reconnect after a decade, only to discover that they barely recognise each other? Tempers fly, tears fall, closet doors swing open and skeletons fall out. In a long, boozy afternoon played out against a sun-drenched Australian landscape, the two friends reveal their imperfections, share laughter and finally confront an incident from the past that has haunted them both. Official Selection Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Frameline and Outfest 2007.