FactPower: Facts, figures, and talking points for Resistance activists.
Surviving the Holidays
The progressive community, unlike the LGBT community, may be a bit inexperienced with ostracism and rejection during the holidays, as political divisions continue to fracture American families. Many of us will find that we've been "orphaned." We may either be unwelcome at the households of Trumper family members, or we may simply feel uncomfortable there. As a community, we need to find ways to deal with this problem, to come together, and to support each other.
The LGBT community has dealt with this problem as long as any of us can remember. We recognize both our natural families and our chosen families. In many cases, we are closer to our chosen families than to anyone else. These families are made up of mostly of other LGBT people, but also allies who accept us no matter who we are.
It has long been a tradition among LGBT people to organize "orphan" dinners during the holidays, where dispossessed LGBT people can come together and break bread as a new family. We also frequently set an extra place at our own safe family gatherings and keep an eye out for others like us who have no other safe place to go. It is impossible to overstate the importance of a place at a table where one can be loved and appreciated.
As we progressives feel our way forward into a politically fractured future, we, too, have been building chosen families, although we may not realize it. Our brothers and sisters are the ones who stand beside us in protest and who share in the effort of calling and writing and lobbying and canvassing to defend what is decent in this country. We should start pulling together in our local political organizations (of which there are many thousand) to welcome the unwelcome -- those who have been cast out by their natural families. We should invite progressive "orphans" to share the holidays with us in our homes, and if there are sufficient numbers of us, we should even organize orphan dinners.
In the age of social media, we can even go further. Many of us will be walking into lions' dens at conservative family gatherings, but we can carry our chosen families in our pockets via our smart phones. If things get a bit too intense, with banter flying around about "snowflakes" and "libtards," we can excuse ourselves, find a peaceful place, and unload on a progressive friend.
If you find you have no support structure, and you can't face an entire family of Trumpers, then volunteer to serve Thanksgiving (or Christmas) dinner to the homeless. I guarantee you will find lots of friends, and you will walk away with a broad smile, having spread some holiday cheer.
Many of us will need lifelines this holiday season, so please reach out to your progressive community, whether to offer support or to ask for it.
Also remember, if yours is the progressive family gathering to which an odd Trumper might be invited, be kind. Don't talk politics.
REMINDER: It's healthcare enrollment season, and the deadline is DECEMBER 15! Please remind your families this Thanksgiving. FactPower has provided a wealth of information and strategies about enrollment in this article: