Thursday, December 15, 2016

Living with people I don't agree with

I was dreading going to my work conference last week because I knew it was going to be a Trump love-fest.  My industry is 97% men, 3% woman. Of the 97% men I would bet that 99.9% of them are white and conservative (this year, the only black man there was the keynote speaker). This is how bad it is - I met a woman who's job is to introduce woman to the industry and when I asked about minorities she looked completely blank.... **crickets**  Our industry has a LOT of work to do.
I can literally count on one hand my secret allies I've met over the years that are liberal.

As I've said on here, since Nov 9th I have completely separated myself from people who voted from Trump. It's been a self preservation thing. If I hear one more GODAMN uninformed nasty thing about immigration, women, Mexicans, abortion and gay rights I mights just lose my mind.

So back to my conference, which I have loved for 17 years and I consider these people (white men) my "family".  I was dreading it. I didn't want any of these men getting in my face.

The first day I could see in one of my friend's eyes that it was a big elephant in the room. I saw it in his eyes. He knew I was mad, I knew he voted Trump. Eyes are the window's to your soul!  What brought us together was our friend that died, Darian. He was going to give an award in Darian's name the following day and he knew he'd cry and was worried. We talked, we both cried. I laughed with his fabulous wife, like I always do. I was reminded that I love these two people. I have no bloody idea why they voted for a moron, but they did, and it's not going to stop me loving them.

Next up, a longtime friend who confided that after 17 years of marriage he's separated. Heartbroken, missing his kids, at the lowest point of his life. I'd do anything for this friend. He voted Trump.
Tonight I sent him a message asking how he is and we chatted. I consider this guy one of my closest friends and feel like we can put politics aside.

So my conference was cathartic. I felt like I ran headlong into a wolf den and came out realizing that most of these wolves are still my friends. Yes, there are a handful that are NOT my friends, but they have always been that way.

I learned 2 things about the experience:

  • I still like most of my friends, even though they voted for him
  • I got my courage back, and did not let anyone there tell me bullshit

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