Activists In Africa Are Concerned With The Message Trump Is Sending About the LGBT Community

When Trump was on the campaign trail, he claimed he would be the best President for the LGBT community. We didn't hold our breath, even though many of us had conservative friends and family tell us otherwise.

Sadly, his track record has proven him wrong. He isn't there for the LGBT community. Caitlin Jenner even denounced him, after staunchly supporting him.

The precedence Trump has created in the US for taking away LGBT rights, pushing for religious freedom, and appointing staunch opponents to the LGBT community into the upper echelons of government are now making other countries worried about their progress for LGBT rights.

This is mainly seen in African countries, where 33 of them still criminalize homosexuality, and even a few allowing the death penalty for homosexuals.

Under the Obama administration which was openly supportive of the LGBT community at home and afar, even making sure it's support was apart of foreign policy, activist in Africa felt they could step out of the shadows. 

 Joseph Achille Tiedjou, a gay rights activist in Cameroon, said, "I have so many worries with the new administration. Obama was known to be very engaged. Hillary Clinton was a champion of LGBT rights and made many guarantees in addressing these issues specifically."

Obama made a special envoy for LGBT rights. While Trump has said he will keep it, many concerns remain. And with his track record, there is no guarantee he will keep it.

Graeme Reid, director of Human Rights Watch's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program, spoke ont he issue saying,

The difference with the previous administration was that the rights of LGBT people were explicitly part of foreign policy. So LGBT groups around the world could absolutely rely on the moral and, indeed, material support that came from the U.S. government and that made a huge difference.

Reid says that even if Trump were to speak out for foreign LGBT rights, it wouldn't carry as much weight with the erosion of those rights within the U.S.

Under Obama, Africa saw gains in the treatment of LGBT individuals. Monetary support meant people could get the help they need and receive protection against HIV/AIDS. This support is what helped see the rise of LGBT support groups. 

N'Deye Traore, an activist and journalist in Mali, has commented on the rise of the use of social media to incite hate against the LGBT community. This has lead to many people not speaking out publcily for support and having to live in hiding, increasing their risk of exposure to HIV/AIDS.

She urges,  "the American president to seize and at least tolerate this community for sustainable development in America and around the world."

While we have long been decrying Trump, the world wide LGBT community is catching on and we are seeing the far reaching ripple effect that Trump is having with his hurtful policies.

H/T: NBC News

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