In his latest man-on-the-street video, Austen Fletcher, or “Fleccas,” attended Los Angeles’ Pride Parade to see if he could get anyone to agree that “Trump’s not that bad.” His effort was met overwhelmingly with declarations of “F*** Trump!” and the dismissal of any facts suggesting Trump was trying to help the LGTBQ community in any way, including his global effort to end the criminalization of homosexuality.
The video, the latest in his “Trump’s Not That Bad” series, begins with Fletcher asking Pride paraders what Pride means to them.
“Pride is all about showing your inner-self, saying you love somebody without being judged,” says one guy in a black leather speedo and black wings. “It’s about unity, diversity, and having love for your fellow man — whatever they’re into, you know,” says one enthusiastic guy. “Just loving each other no matter what,” says one girl. “Pride is all about love. Period … You don’t have to be anything except yourself this weekend,” says one guy named Maxton.
But when Fleccas asks participants what they think about Donald Trump, the tone changes dramatically. “F*** Donald Trump,” says Maxton. When Fletcher asks the same question of a “furry” draped in a rainbow flag, he has a similar response: “F*** Donald Trump! He can burn in hell! … He can burn in hell for trying to get rid of trans!” The furry’s comment inspires a response from somebody in the crowd: “F*** Donald Trump!”
In fact, the “F*** Donald Trump!” line was apparently the most popular response of the day; Fleccas shows participant after participant declaring it into the camera.
When Fleccas asks one guy what he’d do if he told him that there are some things Trump’s done that are “pretty good,” he responds, “I’m not going to listen to you.” When he provides some examples, the response doesn’t get much better. Fletcher notes that Trump is putting pressure on governments that criminalize homosexuality, particularly in the Middle East, but even this pro-LGBTQ action is not celebrated by respondents, who make clear that, no matter what, Trump is not doing enough.
“Is he fixing all of the problems?” one guy asks in response. “Well, he’s an idiot,” says another in response to the decriminalization fact. “He doesn’t understand people. He undersands Donald Trump and that’s it, so it’s a personal vendetta.”
As NBC News reported in February, the Trump administration has launched “a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality in dozens of nations where it’s still illegal to be gay”:
U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highest-profile openly gay person in the Trump administration, is leading the effort, which kicks off Tuesday evening in Berlin. The U.S. embassy is flying in LGBT activists from across Europe for a strategy dinner to plan to push for decriminalization in places that still outlaw homosexuality — mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.
“It is concerning that, in the 21st century, some 70 countries continue to have laws that criminalize LGBTI status or conduct,” said a U.S. official involved in organizing the event.
Fletcher also speaks with a self-described “gay conservative” man, who describes being outcast by the LGBT community for failing to fall in line politically and ideologically.