The journalist discusses why he feels people are edging closer to the closet door.
Billy Manes, editor of Orlando Florida’s LGBT newspaper Watermark says that gay people are more afraid of the in-coming Trump administration than they were after the Pulse massacre.
On the popular National Public Radio (NPR) show All Thing Considered, host Ari Shapiro revisited the gay editor for the first time since the Pulse shooting in June. He asked if Manes was still scared six months later.
“I think almost more so,” Manes said. “Nobody wants to seem too gay today.”
Manes also said LGBT people seem to be edging closer to going back into the closet after the November 8 election.
“There is so much licensed hate right now,” he said. “And I’m hearing it more often than I’ve ever heard in my life.”
He went on to say that he feels LGBT people are down-playing who they are in public.
“And we’re a lot more careful about ourselves and how we present at this point, which I don’t think is a great thing,” said Manes. “Nobody wants to seem too gay, do they? We’ve had developments since the Pulse shooting that have indicated we may not be in the best graces of the general public.”
The journalist is not only fearful of his own safety but those close to him.
“I fear for my friends. I fear for my friends who are bartenders in gay bars, and they fear for themselves. And some of them have quit their jobs because of this fear,” he told Shapiro.
When asked what Manes is doing to combat that fear personally, he said he tries to love more.
"That sounds so flaky," said Manes, "But honestly, my response to my friends who are having rough times with this is it's a generosity. It's still very real here, Ari. Like, I mean, it's really bad, especially post-election when people will scream at you at a gas station."
You can listen to the entire interview by clicking HERE.