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Where were the LGBT issues in the presidential debate?



[Editor’s note, several people have reached out to me and said the topics for last night’s debate, chosen in advance, were “America’s Direction,” “Achieving Prosperity” and “Securing America” which still makes me wonder why LGBT issues weren’t brought up in any of those categories.It would seem that one candidate would address the community just a little; at least in the “America’s Direction” topic]  

The first presidential debate aired last night amid a flurry of barbed insults, personal potshots and an HD microphone which caught every lip-smacking, dripping nasal septum deviation. 

Benadryl should call Trump for an endorsement.

Clinton seemed poised and prepared though, calling out Trump on his refusal to make his tax returns public, his attitude toward women, and his past issues with race discrimination in the workplace.

Trump missed his opportunity to pry deeper into Clinton’s email scandal to instead discuss internet security and a mysterious 400-pound man sitting on the bed taking down the ether.

What was missing however, was the discussion of LGBT issues, such as marriage equality and transgender rights.

Anyone who knows me can attest I am no political analyst, so perhaps there is a list somewhere of things the candidates will discuss at each debate and LGBT issues will be set aside for next time.

The only time LGBT issues came up, sort of, is when Trump mentioned Rosie O’Donell his media nemesis who has publicly bashed him ever since her co-hosting spot on “The View.”

In her ability to test Trump’s self-proclaimed even temperament, Clinton addressed his use of identifying women as “pigs, slobs and dogs,” to which he replied:

“Rosie O’Donnell, I said very tough things to her and I think everyone would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her.”

Broad statements like these are what I imagine his supporters love about him the most, I think to the rest of us it’s just an example of undiagnosed ADHD.

To mention Rosie, an out comedian, philanthropist and LGBT advocate, to me, was a glimpse into his thoughts on the LGBT community.

I’m never sure to which level Trump dislikes Rosie; is it because she’s larger, a woman, lesbian, or all three?

The one thing that all of my LGBT friends and family tuned in for was what the candidates were going to discuss about the future of our community when one of them takes over the White House.

After all, Clinton hasn’t always been an LGBT supporter and Trump has said if he gets behind the desk, he will do his best to overturn marriage equality.

These topics were all absent from last night’s debate, and again the only glimmer of LGBT issues was invoked by the mention of Rosie O’Donnell, and even that was done in a hateful way.

Given the state of the LGBT community and the country at this point in history –which is in far better standing than it was 10 years ago — the candidates should have addressed the issues we face, and not spent so much time name-calling and constantly going into overtime with needless explanations. 

Where was the discussion on AIDS, Religious Freedom Restoration Act laws, transgender rights, same-sex marriage, adoption, transgender violence? 

I’m hoping that the next debate will turn toward the LGBT community with a far better discussion on the issues rather than serving us Jerry Springer style split-screen contrivances which did little more than make us pine for longer presidential terms. 

Let’s hope Anderson Cooper can get to what really matters in our community when he moderates the debate on Oct. 9. 

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