Political Perceptions

By: Emily Largent

I write this article in the midst of the presidential election of 2016, and I have, quite honestly, never been so nervous. The past few weeks (heck, the past year) have been fairly stressful – physically, emotionally, politically, you name it.

I’m a fairly political person, only because I can’t afford not to be. I don’t conform to gender norms. I’m not straight, not a middle-to-upper-class conservative cis male. I live in the South, and the vitriol I’ve seen (as well as a staggering amount of signs for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named) has done little to ease my fears.

No matter the outcome of the election, I want to put one thing out there that has been on my mind during this whole facade of a political process, that I absolutely want to make clear to everyone who may not adhere to the straight, white, cis (conservative?) norm: You have absolutely every right to cut people out of your life because of who they vote for. You have every right to shrink away from people who lean towards a certain political viewpoint, or mindset. I’m not saying this to be cute, and I don’t say this to push my agenda. If you’re gay or bisexual; if you’re trans; if you’re a person of color, or an immigrant; if you’re Jewish or Muslim, then you have every right to cut certain people out of your life, whether it be for your safety, peace of mind, or both.

And for the people who I know are going to read this blurb and get on their angry little horses and cry “discrimination” until they’re blue in the face – this isn’t about medical marijuana. This isn’t about whether or not we should have solar panels in Florida, or slot machines in Duval. This is about people who believe the people I love should be deported, should be criminalized, should not be allowed to marry the person they choose or use the bathroom they want, or just live their lives not in fear of bigots or white extremists. I don’t want to associate with people who believe those things. I don’t want to be friends with people who think I don’t deserve fundamental human rights.  And the safety of my loved ones is always going to trump everything else.

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