I’m gay and my mom voted for Trump. Here’s what I wrote to her on her birthday.
I wasn’t planning on contacting you at all today. Dad told me you voted for Trump, and were “delighted” with the outcome. He may have exaggerated your feelings, but I’m sure he at least had the sentiment correct. You were happy. You were happy about Trump’s election, and at first I wanted to punish you by ignoring your birthday altogether. Instead I’m going to communicate as directly and honestly as I can.
Your vote hurts me profoundly and personally. I find it shocking and repugnant. I’m not going to soften my language here. Your having driven me everywhere, fed me, and consoled me countless times as a child does not mitigate how disgusted I am with Trump, the United States endorsing what he stands for, or with your being a part of it.
I’m not going to list the reasons why, in my view, Trump completely disqualified himself to be President, no matter how corrupt or dynastic his opponent. There was, to me, no comparison between them whatsoever, but that discussion has ended.
This isn’t even about that. This is a question of family, and of a son being disrespected by his mother. Trump repeatedly said he would appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court. Do you realize that all it takes is one lawsuit and a conservative consensus to remove my right to get married? That’s what you voted for.
Do you realize that if Trump is impeached — which is likely — Mike Pence, who is in favor of “conversion therapy” for gay people, becomes president? That’s what you voted for.
Trump repeatedly said he would repeal Obamacare — he’s said he would replace it, but no one knows with what — and that means that I’ll probably be on my own when I turn 26, if not earlier. I may not have a job with robust health benefits. I may still be waiting tables. You know, because I’ve told you, how severe my depression and anxiety are. You know, because I’ve told you, how many prescription medications I’m on and probably will be on for the rest of my life. If that law gets repealed, I will be lost at sea. That’s what you voted for.
But it’s not all about me. You are the person who first taught me about demagogy, about Hitler and Himmler, about the Nuremburg Rallies, about Germany. If you don’t see the things you described being repeated here in our country today, I don’t know what to say or do. That’s what you voted for.
Hate crimes are spreading like wildfire. Look it up. Women, and in particular women of color, are moving through their lives with a new sense of dread. How do you think it feels to walk around while Latino or while wearing a hijab in Trump’s America? Your President-elect grabs women by the pussy without compunction, and young men are going to hear that and think they can do the same. That’s what you voted for.
I have many Latino coworkers, and I can’t begin to imagine the concerns they have for themselves and their families. I’m afraid to ask. I have many students of color. I can hardly stand to think about what this means for them, and how this makes them feel. It makes me want to cry and scream and explode, and that’s what you voted for.
The day after the election, I thought our relationship was over. The jury’s still out. You’ll say I’m being dramatic, and that you voted for him for other reasons, and I’m telling you that I don’t care. Whatever rationale you think you had for your vote, this is the message I’ve received from you. All I see is a profound lack of compassion; I can’t fathom how you’re able to sleep at night.
Your son (you’re lucky I’m not your daughter),