Dear Aunt Mary
My Aunt Mary is a conservative Evangelical Christian and a Trump supporter. She is voting for Donald Trump because God has been telling her for decades ending legal access to abortion and stopping people from being queer are the most valuable ways to spend her time and resources. I haven’t spoken to her since long before Trump was president. I haven’t seen her in over a decade. I haven’t seen her daughters, my cousins, since the mid-90s after her encounter with my mother who’d finally had enough, “Stop asking if Tara has a new boyfriend! She’s a big butch dyke! Are you an idiot?”
Aunt Mary still talks to my mother. She knows I’m now a transman. She knows I married a woman five years ago. She has never acknowledged any personal details of my life, out loud or in writing. I don’t care. It would not bother me at all if she spent the rest of her life denying my existence and relation to her entirely. I assume it causes her emotional discomfort after all of her tireless effort trying to criminalize my personhood. If she had simply cut all ties with me, I could have filed her away in my “pick your battles” brain dumpster years ago.
But every fucking Christmas, Aunt Mary sends me a $75 Amazon gift certificate and it enrages me.
It’s my fault. I kept meaning to send it back to her with a letter, telling her to donate it, telling her to stop supporting Amazon, telling her to stop bothering with this bizarre and pointless ritual of familial acknowledgement and capitalism. Instead, manners prevailed, and I always sent her a thank you card, telling her about my cats.
This Christmas is different. I know when she sits down this year with her Christmas list, it will be shortly after she votes for Donald Trump to be president. This year, I have a moral obligation to preempt the dispatch of her perennial psychological invoice. I won’t be enabling her seasonal hypocrisy in 2020. Trump has forced me to abandon all my Midwestern, anti-confrontational protocol and write Aunt Mary a sternly worded letter.
Dear Aunt Mary,
While I appreciate your yearly Christmas gesture to acknowledge your sister has a child, this year I encourage you to donate whatever gift you may have sent me to a cause that holds…