Queerly Beloved: Gem Sheps

This year, I’m thankful that I managed to avoid nearly all political talk with my family over Fall Break.

And, yes—it was as difficult as it sounds.

With the election having just passed, there’s no doubt that politics was a popular table topic during Thanksgiving. And, with the common rift between the political beliefs of millenials and their parents, I’m sure many of you struggled just as strongly as I did with differences of ideology and opinion.

I voted for Hillary Clinton. My dad voted for Gary Johnson. I am extremely liberal. My dad claims to be a libertarian, though he’s actually incredibly right-leaning. It’s painful, having grown up under the wing of this person I greatly admired, only to find that—once I grew a brain and my own opinions—my dad has some extremely harmful beliefs.

You know those low-key homophobes that say, “Hey, I don’t care what people do, I just don’t want to see it. Or hear about it. Or legalize it.” You know those people?

He’s that person. And he and my mom claim to be supportive of me and my sexuality and gender identity, but it’s always scary to hear what he actually thinks via his ballot.

He’s one of the people that believes the majority of Christians should be separated from the KKK and Westboro Baptists, but that all Muslim people are al-Qaeda terrorists no matter what. He hates the police but thinks the “Black Lives Matter” movement is baseless.

He thinks that there is nothing President-elect Donald Trump can do to harm us. He’s partially correct: there’s nothing Trump can do to harm him, a cisgender, white, straight, able-bodied, Christian man with a 401k and military service under his belt.

What he refuses to accept is that Trump can harm his child, a genderqueer, lesbian, Jewish woman with half a bachelor’s degree, multiple debilitating medical conditions, and a very obvious marker of their disabilities: a service dog.

So, at the table this year, I gave thanks for my family, the food on our table, my dog, and good books; in the back of my head, I gave thanks for student visas and work permits.

Happy holidays. Stay safe.

Gem Sheps
Latest posts by Gem Sheps (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *