I have brushed on this a few times, but I wanted to dive a bit deeper into the pool. Let me first say that while I am liberal, I am not affiliated with a party, I have served in the military under both parties and it is my opinion that you need both to keep each other honest. That said, I heavily disagree with Trump, who I believe does not belong to any party but his own. Among conservatives you will find those who for whatever reason, support Trump. I honestly don’t know if they think he has a winning personality or that they like he was a reality tv show host or that he borrows enough money to keep himself rich, I really don’t know why they follow him, fight for him. But this isn’t an analysis of Trump, this is about those I know in real life, those that support Trump and yet still support me, a transgender woman.
My in-laws, they are kind and sweet and supportive. My mother-in-law was the first to embrace my name and pronouns, she makes me feel so accepted. My father-in-law shows me nothing but respect and love. They both have dealt with this kind of thing before, my son is trans and they have had a bit of practice in acceptance. They know I served in the military, if Martin (my son) was to enlist, they would be proud of him and not have an issue. So, how can they support a President who is trying to ban transgender people from the military?
My friend, Jeannie, she is a workplace associate and supporter of Trump, who I came out to just last week. Frankly, I’m just getting tired of hiding it and am caring less and less about hiding it at work. She has known me for 7 years and we have been like “brother & sister”, though now she knows it’s just sisters. When I took her to lunch to discuss who I am, she was fully supportive and has been very happy to have a sister to talk to and issue we women have. It’s been truly freeing to have her talk to me so openly and accepting. Jeannie is also Puerto Rican, with family still there. So, how can Jeannie be a supporter of Trump, knowing he denounces who I am and who wants to tighten immigration so much that she may never get to see her father, or be tracked by ICE despite she is an American citizen?
Eric, a friend of mine since kindergarten, he was my best friend until I left for the military, after which we grew apart. I came out to him a month ago, something I had waffled over because he was staunchly for Trump during the campaign, or at least very much against HRC. I decided to take a chance because I did not want to let the secrets of my past to continue. He was supportive and even more surprising; his elder son came out trans this year. He asked and I gave him advice and hope the best for them. He is new as an ally and struggling with what he feels as the loss of a daughter. But he is trying to be a good father and ally. Can’t ask for much more than that. In Eric’s case, I’m not sure he supports Trump fully, just agrees with some aspects and hates HRC with a fiery passion. How can he support Trump at all, that this man will do his best to marginalize Eric’s son, limit his ability to find happiness?
My married friends, Keith and Amber, I knew for about 15 years when I lived in Memphis. We were pretty close, through our group of friends. They always held conservative views, especially Amber, who is also a staunch Christian. It never bothered me, they are good people who focus on family and friends. I came out to them about 6 months or probably more ago, I’m not good with linear time. They were accepting, and kind. They didn’t understand really, but they supported me anyway. Their family is conservative and very much swayed by politics due to their business interests. How can they support Trump over actual conservatives, when has it become about the person over party?
I actually know transgender people who are supporters of Trump. They are not just conservative, but support the man himself. I don’t understand how you could support someone who doesn’t want you in their party, in their lives, to exist at all. But I suppose I don’t have to understand it for it to be a reality. Granted, they are already well-to-do, so they have no fears of losing a job or losing protections, it seems a selfish existence.
I believe that most don’t support him, so much as they support the idea of him. Trump presents himself as a straight-talker who knows how to make deals and who is affable and strong. I’m not going to debate the reality of this, it’s not what this post is about, I am just stating what he presents in the press and in social media. The idea of Trump, placed next to Obamas last four years, is enticing because of his strong stance on foreign policies. I admired Obama for making some really hard decisions in his time in office, wrapping up a war, fixing a completely wiped out economy, saving several American industries that would have just been gone had he not intervened. But, Obama was decidedly weak on foreign policy, we were almost always at the lesser end of deals made. This was less to do with his abilities, but because of a hostile congress and a weak economy, so I understand, but it’s a reason why Trump would look good on paper.
The people I have listed all support Trump for different reasons, some simply for opposition to HRC, some for the tax breaks that Trump had promised. We all have our reasons for those we support. But there is a bigger picture to be viewed. Caitlyn Jenner notoriously backed Trump during his campaign, repeatedly saying that Trump had no issues with transgender people and to give him a chance. Caitlyn is now renouncing Trump, but he is now in office and attempting to ban transgender people from the military. Even his military advisors are against this ban, so it could only be a personal goal for him. In the end, I don’t think anyone of my friends or family voted for Trump in order to make my life or my sons life harder. I don’t think they voted out of malicious intent, but genuinely thought that Trump would be a better candidate.
So, perhaps I have done a disservice to some of those who support or initially supported Trump. Perhaps I have over-simplified their intent and their reasonings. I cannot call all Trump supporters racists, bigots, deplorables, etc. I think that those who agree with Trump on racist issues can be called racist. I think those who enjoy the moniker “deplorable” deserve the title as they are most likely deplorable. I think those who agree with Trump, that transgender should be banned from the military, a beginning point to being excluded from society, are transphobic or trans-bigoted. My thoughts are that for most trump supporters, they do not necessarily reflect his personal views but hoped that his political policies would be different than the politicians that came before him. In this way, I can understand the duality, the contrast between the acceptance I have found among some of his supporters and Trumps own stance against my existence.