Considering my penchant for insanely white guys, it was bound to happen sooner or later – I fucked a Trump supporter.
Jones* approached me on FetLife, and although I’m not actively looking for new hookups, I am also not one to pass up a good opportunity. And Jones seemed like one – he met all of my initial basic requirements; older than me, open to dating a married person, pervy, yet respectful. Through the dozens of dirty and getting-to-know you text messages we exchanged in those first few days, I felt like this was someone I wanted to get to know. When he suggested we talk on the phone and make a plan to meet in real life, I was for it. He charmed me as much with his spoken words as he had with his written ones.
But, then I did the math: Jones is male, white, 55, works in construction management, and is from a small Northern California town. Not metropolitan, diverse, Bay Area Northern California – like rural, predominantly white, State Of Jefferson Northern California. This guy voted for Trump, I thought to myself, intense dread spreading through my body. So I asked him, point blank. His answer left me less than satisfied.
I immediately texted my friend Ella* to make sure I wasn’t crazy. Our conversation went like this:
Me: …he lives in (small Northern California town) which is total fucking hicksville. It’s Trump country. When I asked if he voted for him, there was the briefest pause followed by, “No. You don’t like him, huh?”
Ella: GODDAMMIT WHAT THE FUCK. Trump is as bad as fucking Dahmer. And people ask that?
Me: It was a lie, right?
Ella: OMG this dude. He better just be awkward and not have been lying.
Me: I think I’m dazzling him with my wit and sass so he may have been awkward.
Ella: Dazzling him with your covfefe.
I like to think I am a good judge of character. Maybe it’s street smarts from being born and raised in New York, maybe it’s just from being an astute observer of the world around me. Maybe it’s because I have a complete POS for a father – I just know when people, especially men, aren’t right. I am not fooled by slick words, big promises, and sly glances. My instincts are strong, and I trust them, rely on them. Jones struck me from the beginning as a fundamentally good person, smart, someone I liked right away – but, was it possible I was off about this Trump thing? I agreed to meet him for a walk in the park, and he was just as good and smart and charming in person. Instincts aren’t science, I thought to myself. I guess you’re wrong. We made a fuck date for the next night.
Soon after, Jones asked me to join him for a second date, this time at the San Jose Hilton where he’d rented a room on the top floor of the hotel, overlooking the west side of town. It had floor to ceiling windows, and the lights of the city were beautiful. It made the perfect backdrop for our evening together. The sex this time was delicious – it was slower, more deliberate, more sensual than our first encounter. It was great. We collapsed in a heap, taking time to drink and have a little nosh while we caught our breath. As we laid there Jones said, “I have to admit, I lied about the Trump thing.” I shot up and screamed, “I fucking knew it!!”
Usually, I am so thrilled to be right, but this time it felt so, so bad. How could this be? How could this man, who up until now presented as so…rational – how could this same man have made such an irrational choice? Not just irrational – how could he align himself with a campaign which attracted such racist, sexist, xenophobic supporters? Like dude, really, WTF? I felt so lucky last year, when many of my Facebook friends complained of fanatical Trump supporting friends and family – I sat back and thought whew! I don’t know a single person who would even remotely in a million lifetimes consider voting for this fucking maniac. The only person I kind of sort of knew was the woman who had a booth next to me at the local monthly market where I work – I overheard her conversation with a customer praising Trump, and I immediately asked to have my booth space permanently changed. To find myself laying naked in a bed with a Trumpite? I was pissed, freaked out, and sad.
So, we started talking. About my life, his life. Politics. Beliefs. Our histories. He listened to me, I challenged him. We couldn’t be more different as people, with completely different life experiences – but, for as many differences there were between us, we have been able to find so much common ground. I realized, this is the work that can be done with the average Trump supporter. Not neo Nazi, anti-choice, anti-Muslim trash – there is no reasoning with those people. But, for people like Jones, people who are not trash but for some reason made an insanely shitty choice? People who otherwise have little to no opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with POC, who have no practical knowledge of LGBTQ folks, socialists, feminists – why not have that conversation? Why not engage the discussion? I decided that this would be my contribution – to change the hearts and minds of Trump supporters, one fuck, one conversation at a time. With Jones, I’m happy to put in the work.
*names have been changed