There are lots of Tr-mp signs in our neighborhood. When one went up on the corner of our street I started to worry about my next-door neighbors who have all been so nice to us. I’d be pretty sad to find out if they’re proud enough to support this president that they’d put up a sign for him.
I can almost respect someone who votes for him through gritted teeth cause they’re convinced they’re gonna end up in a gulag cause socialism. I get it. But then don’t fucking brag about it. Jesus. The man is the worst thing to happen to this country, like ever. I’ve never seen us so polarized in my 48 years.
Americans stand at a precipice on two sides of a cliff tweeting into the abyss. It seems we can’t look to leadership to heal this divide, we must do it from within ourselves. And we are only weakened as Americans, all of us— by these divisions.
On what foundation can we stand to bridge conversation for common ground? What material might we use to construct such a thing? I propose: Compassion, Respect and Love.
Folks on both sides of the abyss cannot survive without getting to the other side but they can’t even see each other.
A few days ago my adjacent neighbors put up a Tr-mp lawn sign, I was disappointed, but it was a small sign. Ok. The next day it was followed with a huge Tr-mp 2020 banner/flag. They’re like, really proud.
It wasn’t surprising, I kinda pegged them for Tr-mp supporters based on stereotypes. But it was a punch in the gut.
The flag is huge. And it triggered my “TDR” as my friends on the other side of the political spectrum like to claim. I didn’t want to go outside after they put it up. But I got over it.
Then one day, for the first time since we moved here, the Tr-mpingtons, as we now call them, made polite banter with me from across our yards. I was working on my stone path in the front and two of the stereotypical blue collar white guys made small talk with me. I was not expecting it from them at all. Not because of the signs, but because for over a year they’ve ignored us.
That changed everything. I could no longer believe that I was the reason they put up such a huge flag. Sometimes I forget that no one cares about me more than they care about themselves.
I made a video to commemorate the lesson:
We had our Pride flag out in June for Pride month. And I know that for some people, seeing a rainbow flag triggers them as much as when I see a Trump sign. I had partially convinced myself that their flag was in response to that.
But when they made the small talk with me— you know the kind— the BS you joke about with people you barely know.
The concept of creating this as my neighborhood intrigues me. It’s a bit of a challenge, but more in my anxiety-addled brain than in realty. In reality, all of our neighbors have been lovely. I’ve never lived as an out queer woman in a mostly straight neighborhood. So I’ve had a lot of anxiety just walking around the neighborhood.
A couple of days after the Trump flag went up my wife came home excited to tell me what our right hand side neighbor had put up.
I was terrified to know. The neighbors on the right are friends, like buddies with the Trumpy guys— the have beers and help each other out. So it really coulda gone either way. But I was really hoping they weren’t also Trumpingtons.
So here’s what my neighbors directly across from each other are looking at each day: