There’s been a lot of talk in the aftermath of the massacre in Orlando of how this will help Donald Trump in his bid to become US president in November. Certainly, out of the two candidates he seems to be the one more in tune with the outrage that a lot of gays will be feeling about radical Islam right now.
But even before this weekend I had a feeling that Trump might do well among gays anyway. Unlike most previous Republican candidates who need to appeal to a conservative religious base, Trump appears to be pro-gay – or at least, he’s not anti-gay and condemning them to all to hell. A few weeks back I had occasion to meet a woman in her late 20s or early 30s who introduced herself as a photographer from California. Given my recent experience with young American women introducing themselves as photographers, I snarkily asked if she was really a photographer or somebody who merely had an Instagram account and an iPhone. She shot back that she owns a 400sqm studio in San Diego. A real photographer, then.
Later on I was sat having a drink with her and what turned out to be her girlfriend. We started talking about the gay scene and somehow ended up on the subject of politics, and she surprised me by saying she was going to vote for Trump. She explained that she was a businesswoman, and had been running this photography operation for almost 10 years, and her worry that the Democrats are taking the economy in a direction which is going to be very bad for small businesses like hers. She said she wanted a president who put “American first” rather than undermining it in order to please outsiders, and she thought Trump was more likely to do that than Clinton. She also said that, despite being gay, she is actually quite conservative and doesn’t agree with a lot of this social justice activism that is going on. I’m not sure if she necessarily agreed with me, but she she didn’t openly disagree when I gave her my view on the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage.
I found this all very interesting because the most vocal of the gay rights and other social justice activists would have us believe that all minority groups automatically side with the Democrats because the Republicans are out to destroy them. Which is bullshit, of course. There is no reason why anyone gay should not also be fiscally conservative, pro-business, anti-immigration, and in favour of the second amendment. What they have probably struggled with in the past is finding a candidate who represents these latter positions but also accepts them for being gay. I’m sure there are plenty of American homosexuals who have despaired for years over the choice of an anti-gay but otherwise sensible Republican candidate and a Democrat who doesn’t mind gays but is a complete clot. Trump, despite everything else, a least gives them a break from this.
I said a few weeks ago in the comments of another blog that if Trump can convince lesbian photographers in California to vote for him, Hillary might be in some trouble. Now that Trump appears to represent gays who wish to carry guns while his opponent reiterates this latest massacre has nothing to do with Islam and the AR-15 is to blame, I can see his support swelling even further among the gay community. Voting patterns in this year’s election could be very interesting indeed.