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Sept. 30, 2016: Texting Turkey

October 1, 2016

Recent text conversation with my nephew in Phoenix:

Nephew: Hey… we are having Thanksgiving at our house this year if u guys can make it.

Me: We’re in! Let us know if we can bring anything and what time we should be at your house on Thanksgiving Day.

Nephew: Very cool. I will talk w [girlfriend] to see if she needs anything. And jsyk [family members, including those who have shunned Mara] will all be here, along with [girlfriend]’s family as well.

Me: No problem on our end, although it might be a bit awkward, knowing how [family members who have shunned Mara] feel about Mara. Do they know Mara and I are coming?

Nephew: I told them that I have invited everyone…anyone who would like is welcome. I would hope they could grow the F up and have a nice family dinner. It is important to me and [girlfriend] and the kids that everyone is there to celebrate and have a good time!

Me: [thumbs-up emoji]

Nephew: I know it’s no problem on ur end. I love and respect both of u. I really wish on their side the nonsense would stop ya know. Just not necessary!

Me: Totally agree. We love you — and [girlfriend] and the kids — too.

My mom once told me that Mara is never welcome in her house. And when any of my siblings have hosted a holiday at their place, they didn’t invite us there, either. I was wondering if any of my nieces or nephews, all of whom accept us, would follow that lead, just to keep the peace.

I’m so happy that they are taking a stand — not just for us, but for themselves and their values and beliefs. On the other hand, it really could be awkward — or even hostile. Mara is mostly concerned that some family members will mis-gender her on purpose and make snide remarks. (We’ve met my nephew’s girlfriend’s family, and they are totally cool with Mara. And so are most of the other people who will be there. It’s just a few people in my immediate family who don’t accept her.)

This isn’t like the wedding of another nephew, which took place a few months ago. That was a major rite of passage; it was at a large, outdoor event center; and there were a lot more people there. Thanksgiving is an annual holiday, and not everyone in my family spends it together every year; it will be at a house (a much more intimate space than a sprawling ranch); and there will be fewer people there. (It sucks that we have to consider all of these things.)

Still, Mara and I are going, and we will stay positive and treat it like the celebration that it is. And we hope that everyone else who goes does the same.

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