President Donald Trump, the mind behind America’s transgender military ban, cuts to vital HIV/AIDS research, and a slew of other demonstrably anti-LGBTQ offenses, is apparently here for… *checks notes* queer Bollywood cinema?
Last Friday, February 21, the POTUS issued a bizarre quote-retweet of an article from U.K. queer news site PinkNews covering Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (Extra Careful of Marriage), a pioneering gay Bollywood rom-com that’s aiming to change the minds and hearts of India’s older, more traditional population.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2020
LGBTQ advocates were quick to offer their thoughts in Trump’s mentions on Twitter.
There have been 136 attacks on LGBTQ people through policy and rhetoric since the Trump Administration took office.https://t.co/mggKkPC4yO
— GLAAD (@glaad) February 21, 2020
Your policies attack LGBT people. Don’t pretend you’re on our side.
— Tom Coates (@tomcoates) February 21, 2020
Other Twitter users took a more comedic approach to mocking the POTUS’ hypocrisy:
— Tim Rock (@Mrtimrock) February 21, 2020
BREAKING NEWS: Donald Cheeto Man Trump has resigned, and is moving to Canada with his husband Mike Pence.
— Calvin (@realcalvinn) February 21, 2020
— American, Mostly Peaceful. (@AmericanSoWoke) February 21, 2020
Trump’s thinly veiled performative allyship aside (surprise, surprise: He and Melania are on a two-day diplomatic visit to India as we speak), Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan marks a new era for India’s LGBTQ population. As NewNowNext reported back in September 2018, the East Asian nation’s Supreme Court voted to decriminalize homosexuality, revoking once and for all a British colonial-era law that remained on India’s Penal Code for the better part of 150 years.
The landmark decision came after an uphill 18-year legal battle. But antiquated cultural attitudes and old taboos are hard to break: As recently as January 2019, top generals in India’s army said gay and lesbian Indians are still barred from serving in the nation’s military.
Perhaps the “Macho Man” architect of the now-infamous trans military ban can relate?