December 16, 2016 at 12:03 pm EDT | by Brock Thompson
How to talk to your pro-Trump relatives
Donald Trump won, gay news, Washington Blade, pro-Trump relatives

(Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Well, here we are. Christmastime is upon us. Next week, many of my fellow gay city boys will be traveling back home to the small towns and burbs we dreamt so longingly of escaping when we were gay kids. A lot of us have been doing this trip for years. Swooping down from our gayer-then-ever-cities, to our small towns that are now OK with gays — as long as we’re not “in your face about it.”

But this Christmas is different. We are coming out of a bruising election season where gays went practically all-in for the losing candidate. And many of us will have that ever-smug conservative relative just primed and ready to throw Trump’s victory in our carefully moisturized faces. So, how to make it through? The truth is you can’t really combat this and arguing would be a waste of breath. In the post-fact era, debate is simply impossible. You could say that Hillary won the popular vote by close to three million. But they’d say those were all illegal immigrants. So, here are three tactics to get you by.

Double Down on Gay Talk: We can make things uncomfortable, too. If someone starts in how Trump is making America great again, interject with, “I hope so, but what I need help with — if I slept with a guy I wasn’t terribly attracted to just so I could get a glimpse of the hotel he was staying in, does that technically make me a prostitute?” Or, if someone mentions an article on Breitbart, simply interrupt by asking the elderly adults what they used for lube during the war. Or, if someone starts in on low-income housing, turn to one of the smaller kids and ask if they know any drag queens.

And this isn’t limited to political talk. If someone asks if you want more sweet potato casserole, simply say, “no, that’s hell on my bowels, and I like to keep it free and clear down there, obviously.” Any gay talk might just shut down all talk in general, and that can be refreshing.

Don’t Listen: Seriously, I’m so tired of people saying that we need to understand, and we can only do that with compassion, listening and understanding. Blah, blah, blah. I mean, come on, I’ve listened enough. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be polite. Smiling and nodding. Like any good southerner, I’ve perfected that bless-your-heart look. Behind all that, in my head I might be playing Sade’s “Smooth Operator,” or might be wondering which film made more money at the box-office, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” or “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.”

Don’t Go: Just don’t go home. When I solicited advice for this column on social media, I was astonished by how many boys out there have elected to go elsewhere other than home for the holidays. All because of the election. Columnist Dan Savage has been advocating for this for some time, arguing that time spent with family is the best currency and leverage adult gay children have, that not spending time at home could be penalty enough for right-wing relatives to rethink their views. An interesting take. But anyone that really knows me knows that spending time with me can often times be the real punishment. So, this can easily backfire.

So, there you have it. Feel free to use any of these tactics or a combination of all three. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and happy 2017, if we make it.

Brock Thompson is a D.C.-based writer. He writes regularly for the Blade.

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