I can and do keep company with people who disagree with me on a great variety of issues of importance: hot sauce, iPhone vs Android, Mac vs PC, Which crystal gem is best, which Avatar is best, tax structures, health care structures, the shape of laws and proposals, and more.
For the last 5-ish years, a lot of people in my life saw Trump as someone who spoke to them. They saw someone who understood their hatred of government, they saw someone who would stop forcing “gay stuff” down their throats. They saw someone who promised to return THEM to their simple, comfortable lives. And because I was a white person who looked like a man, they felt comfortable sharing that with me.
When I disagreed, they mocked me as sensitive and idealistic. A lot of those people didn’t know at the time they were talking to a trans woman. I remember every one of them. I moved away from my hometown to get away from them and get transitional care. I created spreadsheets of who I felt safe coming out to. And I watched as, time and time again, that strong man who promised them something they cared about made them a deal they didn’t have the moral integrity to refuse: I’ll take care of you and you look the other way. I’ll make your life simple again. I’ll take care of the people who annoy you.
What my family and friends didn’t know is *I* was one of those people. And when I came out and highlighted the target on me — they ignored me. I didn’t know what I was talking about. He wasn’t a bad guy. I pointed out a man who meant to harm me, an abuser with the full power of the government behind him, and those people sided with that abuser. We had two supreme court cases where I stood to lose basic rights just this year, this year ALONE, and a third attempt invalidated by the supreme court. They sided with the abuser.
I don’t think people wearing those MAGA hats and parading around their fancy TRUMP coffee mugs truly understood what they were saying, “This man is going to hurt you, and I don’t care.” That’s what we saw. That’s what was true. He tried, and they didn’t care. We told you them what supporting that man said to us, and they didn’t care.
This isn’t politics, and that’s why there’s no room in my life for anyone who voted for this man. I told you I was hurting, scared, and in danger and you dismissed me like a child who had a nightmare. That’s a betrayal of our relationship. We will not agree to disagree on this and we can’t. You were wrong and you helped hurt people. You helped hurt me. You helped hurt people I care about. You violated my trust in you. You taught me that I matter to you only if I’m convenient. You taught me that I was negotiable. You taught me I didn’t matter to you. You told me to accept less and toughen up instead of demanding the same dignities you have. Trump gave you a choice, and you chose easily. Repeatedly. Emphatically.
This can never be like it was between us before, even if I choose to forgive you one day. No, we can’t be friends.
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