What options do gay and transgender people have in choosing their political identity? If you follow LGBT media in any capacity you would clearly see a default position of both progressive and Democratic ideology and values. Major LGBT organizations predictably endorse Democratic leaders, as the HRC recently did for Vice President Joe Biden.
It seems to simply be understood that if you are gay, transgender or identify under the larger umbrella of LGBTQIAP+, you are a liberal Democrat. Of course many LGBT voices have come out on the right for many years, myself included, and many are proud conservatives. But what exactly does a gay or transgender person do if they do not consider themselves either?
Arielle Scarcella, a center-left, libertarian-leaning, trans-inclusive and gender critical feminist who also happens to be a lesbian, has become a rising star of this movement and showing us everything that is wrong with our strictly binary political system.
In a video titled, Lies The Left Told Me : Trump Hates Gays & Trans Death Epidemic, Arielle explores a few of the big political and social arguments mainstream LGBT advocacy repeats on a regular basis. Introducing other LGBT voices also questioning these political advocacy points as well as a healthy criticism of LGBTQIAP+ culture, you get the sense there are a lot of gay and transgender people out there who feel dissatisfied with their political options.
But it also highlights an important underlying conflict. For example, If you recognize that President Trump is indeed a very pro-LGBT advocate and that LGBT media has openly misrepresented him as an anti-LGBT monster for years, where does that put you politically? Are you a Republican now? Can you be a Democrat?
Democratic leadership routinely blasts Trump as being anti-LGBT. Exploiting a recent manufactured political hysteria headline, Nancy Pelosi demanded, “The Trump Administration’s latest shameful rule is a shocking attack on the health and well-being of the LGBTQ community at a time when access to quality health care is more important than ever.”
If you know this is inaccurate, even if you support the idea behind the outrage, where should your frustration be aimed? The political party making policy you disagree with or the political party exploiting fear and paranoia in your community to push for votes? How do you square your liberal political views with progressivism that seems only interested in bullying and power, using deception to coerce and frighten?
For social activism, what used to be a fairly simple distinction has suddenly become impossibly complicated. Arielle is socially liberal and may have absolutely nothing in common, policy-wise, with conservatives. But today she finds herself being forced to stay quiet about her controversial views or be grouped together with people she may very strongly disagree with on nearly everything. I have noticed many similar people are in the same situation.
I am a conservative. I align with American conservativism on just about every issue. It is my political philosophy. I vote for Republicans because I generally support the GOP platform. But for Arielle and her friends, the choice isn’t so simple or straight-forward. They find themselves politically homeless in a hostile world that demands ideological loyalty at threat of exile. Even finding the right word to describe her social and political philosophy is a challenge.
“The right” has become a catch-all term to describe just about any political philosophy that is not progressivism. Yet there is a great deal of social stigma in the center as those on the left denounce you as traitors and those on the right dismiss you as cowards. But I believe there should be a place for people like Arielle to find a comfortable home to articulate her beliefs without being forced to align fully with a group she has little in common with politically while facing harsh and aggressive outrage from those she otherwise might.
Of course, Arielle has been embraced by many in the conservative movement for being brave enough to speak out on what she believes in. Talking with Steven Crowder, she articulated, “Steven and I agree on a few political issues and disagree on others. It's important for people, LGBT or straight, to not stay in an echo chamber. Let’s all grow together and make the world a better place for all.” Sadly, this has become a statement of controversy. But it shouldn’t be. The question is, how does a person like Arielle advocate for her political values when those she must support openly reject her for thinking for herself?
The right has an opportunity to widen the umbrella even further, rather than merely being a refuge from the storm of controversy outside of it. Perhaps we do not hold similar views or policy outcomes, but more often than not we have come to appreciate the value of conversation and civil disagreement. As brave and influential voices like Arielle Scarcella ask tough questions, we must be there to applaud them and keep them lifted high. They are doing more great work than we know.