Not My President

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I should be doing so many other things right now. Drafts, comments, edits, articles, bills, and more are piled and begging my attention. But to write this is all I can do for the moment. Last night and early this morning, over half of the population looked me in the eyes and said, “We don’t give a fuck about you or your kind.”

At least, that’s what it feltfeels—like.

Compulsively, today, my mind has been playing, over and again, a Celebrity Apprentice clip I saw right when Trump’s campaign was announced, one where he says to a woman at the table, “Must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees.”

And I weep.

I know your feeds are likely filled, as mine are, with statements of outrage, fear, pain, disgust, and also plenty of appeals for love and kindness, so I won’t take up your time with my grievances. I do have one thing to add to the conversation, thoughsomething I haven’t heard anyone say, something I believe:

Family is not more important than standing up for yourself and others.

I’ve spoken to a few friends and have seen a slew of posts from people who are dreading the holidays with their conservative families. They’re heartbroken and outraged knowing their siblings/parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins voted Trump, but still (And is it any surprise?) feel oppressed and obligated to bite their tongues, to sit through prayers thanking god for blessing America with a conservative presidency, to brush off the sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, racist comments and asides out of “respect for our elders,” loyalty and obligation to the family unit.

Last night, a relative who voted Trump told me that our political differences aren’t worth causing a rift in our family or relationship. Frankly, I disagree. When women’s rights, the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community, and Black, Latino, and so many other lives are at stake, it’s absolutely worth it.

I’m here to say it’s okay not to like your family; it’s even okay not to love them. It’s okay to call Grandpa out at the dinner table; it’s okay not to go to family gatherings at all. It’s okay to demand your family treat you, in your entirety, with the respect they’ve always demanded for themselves. If you feel like it’s “their house, their rules” then don’t go inside. Better yet, find a different house and make your own family.

Maybe it’s easier for me to say because I was raised a military kid and perfected the art of detachment at a young age, but this is what I want to emphasize most: You’re not saddled with the family you were born into. You’re allowed to question it, leave it, call it out, and find or make one that will stand up for you and with you. Justice, equality, and autonomy are so much more important than blood.

4 thoughts on “Not My President

  1. Oooo so good. And I would add to this family who berate me for getting so upset and “dramatic.” When you elected a President that directly contradicts everything I stand for, yeah it’s effing personal-even if you’re my uncle.

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  2. This hits so close to home. I’ve been with my now wife 16 years. Her family is full of bigots, and we have crept around them our whole relationship, and put up with their bullshit, to make a really long story short. We were married in October of this year, we told her mother in September. Within two days she verbally attacked my wife, and then disowned us all (young grandchildren included) without so much as a reason, just deleted us from her life. In less than a month she and her husband sold their home in Springfield, and left town without a second glance. All because we chose to validate a 16 year relationship. I have dealt with so much SHIT from this woman that I say good riddance, we are better off. My wife is very hurt, but won’t let it destroy us. We allowed them to ‘closet’ us for far too long. I sadly feel like we, for the first time, can be authentic, 100% without these people in our lives. Our kiss at the wedding was our first public one EVER. I’ve cut out a lot of people over the years, because of so many reasons you listed above. I feel like you have to surround yourself with love, and I don’t understand when people put blood family above a family you can create for yourself…one filled with love and pride. I’ve come to enjoy your Instagram posts and your blog posts, they are always intriguing to me!

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