A little known fact about me is that I'm on the Board of Directors for Log Cabin Republicans – the primary Republican organization for the LGBT community -- here in Hollywood. Even though I'm straight, they welcomed me with open arms as a "straight ally."
I started attending their functions after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. I felt a need to start a dialogue with members of the LGBT community: not about their sexuality, but about spreading awareness about guns, self-defense, and other important issues. They needed to not be afraid of guns and needed to be able to protect themselves if necessary.
What I've learned since knowing these amazing people is that they are some of the most pro-life, pro-military, pro-Second Amendment, pro-free speech, pro-America people you will ever meet.
They are also one of the most persecuted and ridiculed groups in America, if not the most.
From practically every single member of the conservative LGBT community, I've heard that they experience more contempt and scorn from the gay community for being conservative than they ever did from the "right side" for being gay. I've heard their stories. I've witnessed their pain. But as a straight woman, I will never fully know what it's like to be fired, scorned and shunned by my own people simply for thinking differently.
The gay community has a way of being particularly hurtful when they want to be and these men and women have caught the brunt of that. I personally experienced a piece of it when we all went out to a bar in West Hollywood (the gay community in LA) and we were screamed at by a group of men and called every foul word in the Urban Dictionary.
My friends were called "self hating gays" and likened to Jews who aided Nazis during the Holocaust. Thankfully, the bouncer was a former Marine (and Trump supporter) who came over and stood near us the duration of the night to thwart the hecklers.
Nearly every issue of Advocate Magazine (a prominent gay online publication) contains an article criticizing President Trump. The same Trump who the outlet hailed as a gay hero prior to his bid for the presidency. In the early 1980's Donald Trump was one of the first Fortune 500 business owners to offer spousal benefits to same-sex couples. He also bucked trend (and law, because of the AIDS epidemic) and admitted gays into his golf clubs.
Never mind what was considered the status quo, everyone was welcome at Trump’s businesses and operations.
The national president of Log Cabin Republicans, Gregory T. Angelo, said of Trump in 2016:
"He will be one of the most gay-friendly Republican nominees for president ever."
We've come a long way as conservatives in the way of acceptance. It wasn't long ago when Pat Buchanan at the 1992 RNC said that homosexual rights were "not the kind of change America wants.”
Buchanan went on to say:
“It is not the kind of change America needs. And it is not the kind of change we can tolerate in a nation that we still call God's country."
Many of my gay friends remember that speech vividly. They remember being so hurt by those remarks.
They remember what it felt like to be shunned from a political party and the subsequent isolation that ensued.
And yet they didn't leave the party. They stuck with us, fighting quietly and independently for conservative values. But in 2016, Peter Thiel, the openly gay tech mogul who founded PayPal, introduced Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention, where he received a standing ovation.
That was a defining moment in political history. A proud moment. And a moment that pulled a great deal of gay conservatives into the #MAGA movement.
I'm so incredibly happy that many on the right have embraced the LGBT community. I've found that most conservatives have a libertarian attitude towards LGBT: whether they agree or not with the lifestyle, it's frankly none of their business or concern.
And let's face it: as conservatives, we have much bigger issues to combat. We have enemies who are actively working to change the fabric of America and its founding ideals.
We need to join forces to fight — and conservative members of the LGBT community are the fiercest fighters for our way of life that I know.