Muds and Possum are worried about going to visit relatives at Thanksgiving, because of uncomfortable conversations with relatives who have differing opinions about climate change, gender, and religion….
As usual, full text is below the fold. Go to Part 2.
Possum: Muds, I’m worried about Thanksgiving.
Muds: But I thought Thanksgiving was your favorite holiday, because you love to eat.
Possum: Yeah, but this year we’re going to visit some of my relatives — Aunt Possum, Uncle Possum, and my cousins, Possum, Possum, and Possum.
Muds: Are all your relatives called “Possum”?
Possum: Well, yeah, of course. All possums are named “Possum.”
Muds: Oh. Well, what’s the problem with visiting Aunt Possum and Uncle Possum?
Possum: Well, my aunt and uncle and cousins don’t believe in climate change. And they keep saying Unitarian Universalism isn’t a real religion, not like their religion.
Muds: Oh. So the conversation at Thanksgiving dinner could be awkward.
Possum: It WILL be awkward. Me and my siblings try not to talk about the things we don’t agree on. But my cousins always bring up those things up.
Muds: That doesn’t sound good.
Muds: I have a similar problem. When I go back east to visit my family, a lot of my relatives won’t use they-them pronouns for me, because they don’t believe in nonbinary gender. It’s kind of hurtful.
Possum: So — why not just stay at home?
Muds: I tried that. Then my favorite grandparent died, and I went back for the funeral. And I realized I didn’t want to cut off my relatives completely. There’s lots that I like about them. And I like talking about my favorite grandparent with them.
Possum: Well, how often do you go back?
Muds: Maybe for a day every two years is about right for me. In between, I stay in touch with TurtleBook Messenger.
Possum: I could do that with TikPossum.
Muds: Refusing to recognize my gender and using the wrong pronouns is pretty bad, but I decided I’m OK with it once in a while, so I can share memories of my favorite grandparent.
Possum: Muds, you’ve made me feel better about Thanksgiving. I’ll focus on talking about Great-Grandma Possum and Great-Grandpa Possum. And I’ll try to ignore it when they talk about climate change or religion.