How to survive Christmas with your Trump-backing relatives
The holiday season can be a challenge for people at the best of times, but this year your creepy uncle is going to be insufferable.
We always suggest trying to keep the peace as a first resort, but let’s face it, they’re going to say something.
Here’s a handy guide to arm yourselves with the facts, figures and arguments to hopefully silence any drunken rant.
“You’ve got equality! What are you still fighting for?”
Same-sex marriage and ‘equality’ are not the same thing. LGBT people are still far more likely to be bullied, to be the victim of a hate crime, or to become homeless. HIV infections are on the rise again among men who have sex with men, healthcare provisions for transgender people are approaching crisis point, and in a lot of places new ‘religious freedom’ laws are threatening all our progress.
You might be able to marry in the US, but you can still be fired for being gay in 27 states. Four-fifths of Commonwealth countries criminalise gay sex. In many countries things are getting worse. Trust me, there’s still plenty to fight for.
“I voted for Trump and I support gay rights, so he can’t be bad for gay people!”
It’s true that Trump held a rainbow flag that one time, but that’s not a substantive policy for the President of the United States.
Trump has pledged to sign the Republican-backed First Amendment Defence Act, a law that would permit forms of anti-LGBT discrimination on the grounds of religion. VP-elect Mike Pence has confirmed a plan to dismantle Barack Obama’s anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people, and Trump’s shortlist for the Supreme Court will tip the majority against LGBT equality, just as issues like transgender rights reach the court.
Trump waved a flag once, but that doesn’t make him good for gay people.
“There’s no homophobes in Trump’s Cabinet, it’s all invented by the media.”
“I heard that they want to let MEN into the women’s bathrooms! How can that be okay?”
That’s not what’s happening.
People are trying to make sure transgender people aren’t attacked, shouted at, or even arrested just for trying to go to the toilet in peace, because those things happen pretty much every day. There hasn’t been a single reported case of trans people exploiting the bathroom to attack anyone… ever.
You might have seen scary ads – but rape is still a crime, assaulting someone is still a crime. Peeing in peace shouldn’t be a crime.
Think about it… would you want this transgender woman forced to use the men’s bathroom?
“I’m still scared that some militant gay people will try and force my church to marry them.”
They literally can’t. There’s dozens of different protections for religions to stop this from happening. To be honest, though, why would any gay people want to spend the happiest day of their lives forcing someone to marry them?
“I don’t care what you do, but keep it out of primary schools. My five-year-old doesn’t need to hear about sex changes and anal sex.”
45 percent of elementary school teachers report their schools have had problems with homophobic bullying, and a third have heard pupils use terms like ‘poof’, ‘faggot’, ‘dyke’ and ‘queer’.
This can be especially traumatic to kids with LGBT parents or young LGBT kids – who are likely to feel isolated, are more likely to drop out later on, and are even more likely to try and take their own lives.
We can fight this by making kids aware from an early age that people and families come in all different shapes and sizes – which is about making sure everyone feels included.
It’s about age-appropriate education, like teaching younger kids about families and role models. Sex comes later.
“We didn’t have this whole thing in my day.”
To quote Saturday Night Live: “Yes, you did. They were there, but they couldn’t say anything, so they lived sad lives and died.”
“I just don’t get why any man would want to become a woman.”
You know what? If you’ve thought about it and don’t understand it, that’s okay.
But four in ten young transgender people attempt to take their own lives, and 271 transgender people were murdered this year for being trans.
Trans people across the world are beaten, thrown out of their homes, arrested, put in the wrong prisons, murdered, and neglected by their governments and the police.
You might not be able to ‘understand’ why someone would be transgender, but you can do a very small thing to help those people, by keeping your thoughts to yourself and accepting them as they want to be.
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“[Other random ignorance].”
If Christmas does turn sour, bear the following tips in mind!
1. If you are immediate danger call the police
2. Talk to a friend or someone you trust. It helps to share your problems.
3. Remember the violence or abuse is not your fault no matter what excuses you are given
4. Plan for your safety with an exit strategy – think about worse case scenario; if you had to leave in a hurry, what would you take with you (money, ID, and other important documents). Pack a bag with a change of clothes. Where would you go to be safe and get help? Remember you can always go to the police for help.
5. Keep your mobile fully charged and handy.