This week, President Donald Trump issued a series of proclamations for the month of June, declaring it African American Music Appreciation Month, National Home Ownership Month, National Ocean Month, National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, and Great Outdoors Month.
But, for the second year in a row, Trump did not recognize LGBTQ Pride Month. Last year, BuzzFeed reached out to the White House every day in June to ask why he did not issue a Pride Month Proclamation, and the White House never answered their question.
None of this comes a surprise, of course. During his campaign, Trump often said he was a friend to the LGBTQ community — he even went so far as to sell “LGBTQ for Trump” tee shirts. But his policies, from the trans military ban to his opposition for marriage equality, have always been decidedly anti-LGBTQ.
Still, his insistence on ignoring Pride Month is worth noting, as it further contributes to the erasure of a marginalized community.
In May, Trump and Pence recognized National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.
Today, they recognized National Ocean Month and Great Outdoors Month.
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) June 1, 2018
President Bill Clinton was the first president to celebrate Pride Month, but it has remained a partisan pillar since then: President George W. Bush ignored it for his eight years in office, while President Barack Obama recognized Pride Month every year during his two terms.
Still, as the White House continues to roll back LGBTQ rights and recognition, the rest of society seems to be embracing Pride month more than ever in 2018. This is particularly true in the sports world. This year, the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and WNBA will all be marching as leagues in the New York City Pride March, according to OutSports, along with members of Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Hockey League.
This will be the first Pride March for the NFL and MLB. While there are still no openly LGBTQ men in any of the top American men’s sports leagues, participation in this march is a sign of progress.
Some parts of Trump’s administration are acknowledging Pride Month. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement in support of “LGBTI Pride Month.”
“LGBTI persons – like all persons – must be free to enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association, without fear of reprisal,” Pompeo said in the statement. “As Americans, we place a high value on these rights and freedoms, which all persons deserve to enjoy fully and equally.”
“The United States stands firmly with you as you exercise your human rights and fundamental freedoms,” he added. “We wish you a safe and happy Pride Month.”