The following is a snippet from an exchange between Lucas and one of his family members from back home, in response to a post he put up on Facebook, to put his main comments below into context:

Family member: “Where is the tolerance?”

Lucas: “For whom? What does tolerance look like in this case? Just continuing to take his words at face value, letting him tell us again and again that the sky is purple when anybody with eyes can see that it’s not? Do we just praise him as he does everything he can to strip us of every right that is dear to us? I cannot do that.”

Family member: “For ALL, Lucas. My momma’s house is not my entire families house. Please don’t condemn us all. I love you unconditionally. I have turned off the politics. I don’t need the drama. I want to spend my energy elsewhere. I just wish we could all get along. Sorry. I didn’t mean to get political. I just want you to know that this family loves you regardless of anyone’s views. The government did not birth you, it did not care for you when you were sick, it did not feed you when you needed fed, it did not give you money when you needed it, it did not support you in your dreams, but your family did and still does. We miss you! Please do not let politics be a barrier to your family. That is so sad.”

Lucas: “I will try a little harder to understand you if you try to understand me. If you can, whether or not you believe everything I say is true, and I know you won’t, just assume that it’s true for me. These are my thoughts and feelings based on what I understand to be the facts. They shape my fears, my hopes, and the way I perceive my relationships.

I have invited the entire family, including you, to a vacation in Tahoe, so I don’t know what more I can do in terms of not condemning them. Politics are not the real barrier between me and my family. What is, is the support my family shows for people and policies that put me, my marriage, and my friends in real danger.

You can imagine it’s confusing for me to remember how happy my family was on my wedding day and then to have them vote and literally praise God for the victory of a man who vowed to appoint justices to overturn the ‘shameful’ marriage ruling that made our wedding possible. The fact that he’s now gone back on his words about LGBT people, as he’s known to do, is of little comfort, as he’s appointed the most homophobic cabinet in history.

By supporting him, my family also supported the GOP’s most homophobic platform in its history, so much so that for the first time, the national chapter of Log Cabin Republicans would not endorse their candidate, even though some smaller chapters did.

The platform my family supported included gay conversion therapy. A practice known to increase likelihood of suicide by children who suffer it by eight hundred percent. A practice so inhumane – it’s literally torture – that its outlawed in many states. It’s confusing that my family could turn a blind eye to that.

It’s confusing for me to wrap my head around the fact that my family, who’s now exclusively women, would vote for a man who wants to abolish institutions that our family has taken advantage of.

It’s confusing to me that my family, who at times seems to love my husband as much as or more than me, would vote for a man who spent more than a year condemning my husband’s people as murderers and rapists.

It’s confusing to me that the women who taught me how to treat a lady would vote for a man who boastfully believes he can grab their genitals without their consent because of his power.

It’s confusing for me that the women in my family would not want my niece to grow up in a world that is less hostile to young women.

It’s confusing to me that the women who taught me everything I’ve ever understood about love and kindness can turn a blind eye to the callous, heartless, and inhumane vitriol coming from their chosen party.

It’s not confusing to me that my family doesn’t understand the psychology of torture. They probably haven’t given it much thought or study. They probably don’t know that throughout history, authoritarian regimes that use torture always eventually end up torturing their own citizens. They might not care about Muslims being tortured. They might not care about the persecution of Asians, Jews, Blacks, or Mexicans, but still…they love me, right?

Well do they know that it wasn’t just the Jews that went into the ovens in Germany? Do they know gay men were also extinguished? They might not know that, because we weren’t the main attraction. We were just the kindling. That’s why they called us fags.

I haven’t condemned my family. But I will not be visiting rural Illinois any time soon because I fear it is not safe for people like me and my husband there. I have a rule, If I can’t walk down the street in a neighborhood while holding my husband’s hand, I don’t go to that neighborhood.

Hate crimes against gays and Latinos skyrocketed after Trump’s win because of bigots who heard all of his dog whistles emboldening them in their hate, including many in West Hollywood. If I’m not safe from Trump’s followers in liberal LA, I’m not taking my chances in Trumpian Farmer City. That isn’t a condemnation of my family. That’s just smart.

As you can see, I’m very confused. You could even say I’m having an identity crisis. I don’t see in my family right now, the same love and humanity I was raised with. I don’t understand you, but I want to. I don’t know how to communicate with you, but I’ll try. It seems my family and I have nothing in common anymore, but I still love them. I know they will never ‘get’ me, but I still love them.

Maybe I’ll see you in Tahoe. It’s your call.” #PersonalStories


Originally published on Wednesday, February 1st, 2017