There were many questions and concerns surrounding the 2016 presidential election and what Trump moving from his penthouse suite to the White House would mean. Some have feared for their rights. Some have feared for the rights of those who they love. Donald Trump wasn’t shy about speaking his mind, after all, and, as January 20th rolled around, everyone sat on pins and needles. It turns out that it didn’t take long for the transition of power to start. As his hand hit the Bible and he took the oath of office, marking the official transition from President-elect to President of the United States, the whitehouse.gov website was undergoing its own transition.
A website once shining with the marks of former President Obama’s successes transformed into a wasteland void of many of the pages that held so much importance. One of the first to go? A page on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights. Less than an hour after President Trump took office, the page was replaced with a transition message. Try to find it now, and it’s nowhere to be found. In fact, if you attempt to search for “LGBT” on the White House website, you will come up empty handed.
The White House LGBT page was initially introduced under President Obama. It showcased legislative achievements, historic court victories, important policy changes for the LGBT community, among others. Most importantly, it highlighted the “It Gets Better” campaign, which is aimed at providing support and help to those in the LGBT community who have thoughts of suicide. Given Vice President Mike Pence’s history with LGBT rights, the disappearance of the page is concerning.
The White House LGBT page wasn’t the only one to disappear into the void of who-knows-where. The pages for civil rights, healthcare, and climate change have also been erased. While we don’t know if these pages are gone for good or if they are simply being transformed into something more suitable for Trump, White House officials have stated that more information is being added to the site, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks telling the Huffington Post that “the transition is in progress as updates are made.”