Gay Republicans, mean girls and queers who want to change them

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Q Advice digs into two situations that illustrate how changing others is not only impossible but also not our job.

It’s tough to learn we can’t save everybody, as solid as the motivation may seem.

Q:

I’m a liberal Millennial with friends and family on both sides of the political aisle. I try to educate my rural, straight Republicans back home since they aren’t as aware of the affects that Trump & Co. had on the gays they “love watching on TV.” Believe it or not, I’ve actually made some headway.

My frustration comes just as often from LGBTQ acquaintances in the ATL. Several actually voted for the bastard. Gays for MAGA? Yes (and no!)

How can I help change this? How do I interact with these people? Should I continue to engage with them at all?

 

Dear Martyr:

Did you notice the difference between your description of the folks back home and people you know here? It’s the word “friends.” Among the pros of friends vs. acquaintances is the ability to have substantive discussions that go somewhere.

The opinions of other randoms are none of our business. Just as it is a mistake for them to think they can change our minds about politics, we owe them the same courtesy. Letting go of the responsibility you feel to sway their wrongheaded views will set you free.

Once your head is clear about your role, you are under no obligation to interact with these people. If you are cornered, you have options – engage politely, change the subject, or walk away.

If these gay MAGA oxymorons are in fact your friends, talk to them the same way you do your straight buddies back home – with patience and open ears. They’ll hear you better if they feel heard as well.

Q:

A gaggle of Gwinnet gays from high school decided I’m the odd bitch out. A couple of them were my friends once, and a couple more weren’t even out yet when we graduated.

All of us moved to Midtown in the last three years, and for some reason they hate me. I’d like to say I don’t care, and I do have other friends, but it hurts to see them having a “home team” with me ostracized.

Dear Smalltown Boy:

As if high school angst weren’t enough drama and disappointment back in the day, these people decided to drag it into adulthood and snare you into playing along. Don’t let them.

What would be nice about old-school connections is supporting each other. Unfortunately, in this case, you’re better off without them.

Since the only one you can change is yourself, let go of their hold over you and move on. At your age, any or all of them could grow up someday and see their errors, and that would be great. Waiting around for that possibility now hurts no one but you.

The Q is for entertainment, not counseling. Send your Qs to [email protected].

Illustration by Brad Gibson

This column also ran in Q ATLus Magazine. Read the latest issue here:

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