Op-Ed: A Gay Republican in Trump’s America

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When I was approached about writing this, I was a little apprehensive about doing it. For 8 years, I was out and proud, but since November of 2016 I have gone back in the closet. I am now a closeted gay republican.  I am almost embarrassed to admit it, after this circus we endured in 2016 and the carnival act we are witnessing in the first month and a half of Trump’s presidency; I have found no other way out than to go back in the closet.

gay republicanPeople always ask me when they find out, “How is it that you are gay and a republican?” There is no real easy answer that I can give. My views are socially liberal and fiscally conservative. So, if you were to ask me “Do you believe in the woman’s right to choose?” I will simply say, “absolutely. I am a man. Who am I to tell a woman what she can do with her body?”

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That does not mean I agree with abortion. I just do not feel that it is my place or the governments place to tell people what to do with their bodies. Just like same sex marriage, if you are against it; don’t do it.

When Obama was re-elected in 2012, I was not thrilled about it but the GOP just did not offer America a true alternative. Mitt Romney, really? Yes, I did vote for him. And yes, we lost. We did manage to survive 4 years of Obama so I was pretty sure that we were going to be ok for another 4 years and the GOP would have the time to get the party together and find a viable candidate for 2016.

I am not quite sure Trump was what I was going for. When Trump announced he was running for president, I bought in to it. I took the bait. Maybe a business man is what America needs to get back on track. I rode that Trump train until mid-way through the primaries. As more of the GOP debates aired the more I was ready to get off at the next stop.

Once he secured the nomination, I became worried. I honestly thought this dangerous man could win the presidency. My husband, a diehard liberal; the person I finally married after 16 ½ years of being together said [She] has this in the bag. I was not convinced. I was at the point, who is the lesser of two evils? Who do I really want to win? Do I want to side with my party or do I want to side with my country?

I decided, “I’m With Her”.

I went with country over party. I knew, that she would be the safer candidate.  This would allow the GOP another 4 years to get themselves together, so that I could be an out and proud gay republican. We all know this was not the case.

The night of the election, I saw my fear become a reality. This man was becoming POTUS. My stomach literally knotted up and my heart sank. I saw my marriage license dissolve in front of my face. I saw the true colors of who I thought my friends were and who I thought my family was. I saw the true “Trump Supporters”. On that night, I saw the fall of the Republican Party.

It is hard enough to be a gay man in the world. It is even harder to be a gay republican in “Trump’s America”.

Joe Hanna
Joe is a graduate of L'eCole Culinaire in Memphis, TN. He currently works as a chef on the US Virgin Islands where he lives with his husband Brandon and their dog Dobber. He's a Gay Republican whose greatest passion is good food and the pursuit of truth.