By Savannah Lewis
Last November, my friends and I sat around the TV watching in disbelief as Donald Trump became our president. During this time, we made jokes that were tinted with the real fear of losing our rights and protections as American citizens. We weren’t sure what the outcome of this man’s presidency would bring us, but we had a feeling it would not be good for a large population of U.S. citizens.
In the last nine months, we’ve been told a lot of things. We were told not to worry as supporters of this man attacked innocent bystanders in his name. We were told we weren’t giving him a chance, even after a travel ban that affected many students from our own school from being able to return home on break. We were told it is just a conspiracy when news started circulating about Russia’s influence in the election, even as James Comey packed his bags because he was investigating the issue and our president couldn’t handle it. We have been told all of this insolence, and its grasp on our country is beginning to show more and more each day. Groups like the alt-right, who supported this man since the beginning, are being lead into the light and hurting people for the color of their skin, their nationality, or for standing up for themselves. We have fought for more than a century to eradicate this kind of behavior, yet with this man in the presidential seat, the fight is worse than ever.
To make matters worse, Trump has now denied transgendered individuals the right to be in our military because he has deemed them a medical expenditure. After such a large step forward in 2015 by allowing gay marriage, we have taken three even bigger steps back with all of the transphobic nonsense in today’s society. Tomi Lahren, a popular conservative commentator, even took to calling transgender people a “social experiment” who have no right to be apart of the military. Calling transgender people a social experiment is in itself a vicious transphobic remark that should have been shut down immediately, but let’s break down the truth behind what she is saying here. She believes transgender individuals are an experiment that will eventually go away. Even though it’s quite obvious that they are not only not going away, but that they have been here from the very beginning and deserve the exact same rights as any other person. The reason being? They are people. They are men and women who are willing to fight for a country that is degrading them, insulting them, and even killing them. They deserve to be treated as humans, and the fact that this statement is even up for debate is a terrifying truth we face today.
The feelings my friends and I were told not to worry about have foreshadowed the recent events and will continue to be shown as accurate.