How To Survive a Politically Divided Thanksgiving

Your mental health matters more than a holiday

( @itsnicethat / Instagram)


You know the whole, “Family will always be family,” notion that’s ingrained into our minds when we’re young and try to run away from home? The “you love them no matter” line we’re force-fed like broccoli and promised it’ll make us big and strong? We didn’t know it at the time, but this mentality is damaging. This Thanksgiving may feel impossible, but let’s try to get through it together.

What do you do when the people who changed your diapers also voted for a misogynistic fascist that wants to take your rights away? The 47.2% of the population that voted for Trump had to come from somewhere. And it is so heartbreaking to find out that the teachers you loved, or the bagger at Publix who always asks you how you’re doing or that really nice old man from church didn’t draw the line at racism towards immigrants of color. But it’s a different kind of sting when it’s a parent or a sibling.

I am not the type of person who stands by the “putting the differences” aside mentality. My Indigenous family members and I don’t even celebrate Thanksgiving the way y’all do. But for the sake of sanity and the relationships you have with your family members, I’ll be civil.

Here’s a tip on how to survive it: this Thanksgiving, be thankful for the people in your life that didn’t vote for 45 (I’m tired of his name). Thank your best friends for existing. Thank your significant other. Try to put together a safe Friendsgiving beforehand so that you go into Thanksgiving with moral support.

If anyone is dumb enough to bring up their conservative politics on a day that is advertised as promoting peace (*eye emoji*), draw boundaries. Even if you live at home, even if you have financial ties to your parents, you are still a human being whose feelings should be considered.

Spoiler alert: just because your parents created you does not mean that they own you. Look them dead in the eye and say, “If you want us to enjoy this holiday together, then respect my views, just like I’ve respected yours for the last 18+ years.”

And for the people who are so scared of going home because you know you’re going to hear the shit talking about Black Lives Matter protesters or pro-Tr*mp propaganda, use one of my favorite words: ultimatum.

“If you are going to disrespect the things I support the entire time I’m home, I’ll stay in Gainesville for the weekend.”

If your safety is compromised, then say you have to get a head start on finals.

Your mental health matters more than a holiday.

For the people feeling bold enough to fight family members after a bit of wine and mac and cheese, then looking up talking points ahead of time. Load your mash with gravy and statistics and don’t go down without a fight. For tips on how to talk about Black Lives Matter, check out this article. For tips on how to talk about the alleged voter fraud, just ask them why they don’t want to recount North Carolina or Florida. If there was voter fraud, wouldn’t you want to double-check states where 45 lost, too? Or, is it only unfair if he lost?

Whether you fight, survive or don’t go at all, I’m proud of you. Whether your family members like it or not, Biden won the election. We won. Be thankful for that this year.


Grace Romo is Rowdy Magazine’s Copy Editor. Her sun is in Libra, but she has an Aquarius stellium in her first house so she is internally a water bearer. When she isn’t writing poetry or taking pictures, she is listening to indie music way too loud. You can follow her on Instagram @msromoo for anti-racism tips and song recommendations.