Election 2016: To Unfriend or Not to Unfriend

This is turning out to be one very contentious election.  You have a buffoon in one corner, and polished liar in the other.  And boy, those two are going to fight until the end.

Though I have several concerns regarding this particular election (don’t get me started on Mike Pence, Mr. Conversion Therapy himself), a deep concern is how I’m to handle those on my Facebook Friends List who support the Donald.

It’s challenging.  During the last election, between Obama and Romney, I learned a friend of 20+ years is a Republican.  I was honestly floored at the revelation.  How I didn’t know this is beyond me.  But she’s a good friend, and we figured if we were able to be friends for the 20 years prior, then why not now?

But still, there’s something that needles me regardless.

This election has brought out the worst in all of us.  Democrats and Republicans alike.  I’m to blame as well.  I share and post anything and everything that displays what a complete asshat Donald Trump is, because DUH.  And my Republican friends bag on Hillary, because Fox News.  It’s just a giant shit show.

Still, there’s an underlying issue that makes me question everything.  Strike me and my fabulousness dead for saying it, but….

…it’s the gay thing.

At what point does “Let’s agree to disagree” become “You are completely spitting on who I am as a human being”?  The America that Trump and Pence hope to concoct don’t include people like me.  And that’s fucking frightening.  What does it say about my friends if they support a man who doesn’t think my partner and I deserve equality?  The right to marry?  What does it say if they agree that there should be more conservative judges in the Supreme Court, making decisions to halt the equality the LGBT community deserves?  It bothers me.

I’m reminded of the many people I’ve known over the years who have said, “Sean, I don’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle…but you’re okay!”  I’ve let go of several people in my life who have felt this way.  I recently unfriended a former colleague who I worked with in the education system.  She fit the description of the person I just described, “accepting” me for who I am because, well, I’m SEAN.  Every day, though, her posts were becoming thoroughly political, backing Trump 100 percent.  It unnerved me.

“You understand that supporting Trump means you don’t support who I am as a gay individual?” I asked her through messenger.

“I only agree with most of what Trump has to say.  He wants to change America!  Hillary will ruin it.”

“And what would you do,” I started, “if Trump was, in some way, able to reverse the same-sex marriage decision?  Or if everything the LGBT community has worked for was taken back 20 years because of Trump?”

“Sean,” she said, “I don’t want to argue.  I hate Hillary for about as many reasons you hate Trump.  But if you don’t like what I have to say, you can unfriend me.”

So I did.  And I felt better because of it.  It was amazing the difference it made not to see her posts.  But was I being unfair?  Didn’t she have a point?  Granted, I’m not 100% Hillary, but didn’t my unfriended friend have just as much a right to feel about Hillary the way I do about Trump?

But still, I feel like I’m disregarded as the friend of a Trump supporter simply because of what Trump stands for when it comes to the LGBT community.

After writing this, I still don’t know how to answer my own question.  Do I accept the fact that we all have different ideas, different beliefs?  Is it possible these friends agree with only most of what Trump purports, but not necessarily the LGBT issue?  Sure, it’s easy for them to feel that way, they’re straight, after all.  Straight people don’t have to worry about his or her rights being tossed away like trash.

Am I being a hypocrite?  Here I am judging friends for being able to support who they damn well please during this election.  What does that say about me?

So, until the election is over, I suppose I’ll have to tread water before I make any unfriending decisions.  Mind you, unfriending someone doesn’t mean I no longer like that individual.  Basically it means I’m making a decision to avoid ugliness, in all capacities.

Until November 8th.

– Sean





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