Chronicling the degeneration of Donald Trump’s attitudes toward the queer community shows the perils of relying on the whims of plutocrats:
After completing a 2005 boardroom scene for “The Apprentice,” Trump told the show’s first openly gay competitor that he saw advantages in hiring gays in his business.
“I love having gay people work for me; they are the most trustworthy people, especially around women,” Clay Lee recalled Trump saying to him. Trump’s logic, according to Lee: With so many women around his modeling agency, the businessman worried about straight employees harassing them. “I can’t afford to have that liability,” Trump added, according to Lee.
Lee said he came out to Trump during filming after his team produced a poorly received workplace video about sexual harassment.
“Are you a homosexual, Clay?” Trump asked in an exchange that was caught on camera.
When Lee said yes, Trump seemed welcoming. “I like steak. Someone else likes spaghetti,” Trump remarked, according to Lee. “That’s why we have menus in restaurants.”
Then, sometime in 2011, around the time when the world reckoned with the kind of racist Trump was, he started waffling. Why? He was thinking about running for president and needed the evangelical vote. Choosing Mike Pence, fan of reparative therapy, solidified his commitment to them. But the president’s vacillations work the other way too. If he’s willing to slay Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III on the altar of his political survivor — how he survives slaying the most popular Cabinet member among conservatives is a question he can’t answer — then the queer community is easy.