Love In The Time Of Trump

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The pro/anti-Trump debates have complicated lives across the United States and beyond — straining friendships, marriages and relationships in general.

The 2016 presidential campaign and the subsequent victory of Donald Trump as America's 45th president has thrown the entire nation in a turmoil.

His executive orders and his racist rhetoric, coupled with the blind following of his equally racist and homophobic and xenophobic supporters, is tearing America apart.

SCENARIO 1

He Supports Trump — She Doesn't

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59-year-old Dr. Kerry Maguire and 74-year-old Dr. Thomas Stossel have been married for over 20 years and politics had never caused much friction between them.

“If you vote for Trump, I will divorce you and move to Canada,” she told her husband of 20 years.

“I’m serious,” she told him when he tried to laugh it off.

Another wife, Mandy Stadtmiller,  says there are times she loathes her Trump supporting husband — and it scares her.

She finds herself wondering, “Who is this man?”

“Do you really think this is political commentary?” her disgruntled husband Pat asks her while watching John Oliver segment on Trump with her. “They’ve got nothing.”

“Yes, I think it’s f*cking political commentary!” she retorts before physically scooting away from him.

Jean Fitzpatrick, a relationship therapist, says Trump’s ascent to power has become a frequent topic during her appointments with clients.

“Since the election and the inauguration the most frequent issue is a difference in emotional intensity between partners,” she says. “Usually both are unhappy with the administration, but many women are taking it more personally than their male partners. They are still outraged by the “pussy-grabbing” video and deeply concerned about reproductive rights.

SCENARIO 2

Trapped On The Two Sides Of Trump's Wall

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Then there are Rachel McCormick and her husband Irvi Cruz.

She is an American-born high school teacher from the Philadelphia suburbs; he immigrated illegally from Oaxaca, Mexico.

“I need to start building something and I think if we wait longer it’s going to keep getting harder,” he says, no longer hopeful for getting a legal status.

But McCormick has other concerns, “But is that an environment where I want to go?” she asks. “From New York City, where my kids are in decent public schools, to a place where schools are shut down most of the year because of teacher strikes?”

The question remains unanswered as a bleak future looms over them.

For them, deportation means a family torn apart.

SCENARIO 3

Couples Divided By Their Countries Of Origin

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"My fiancé went back to Iran to visit his family on Thanksgiving Day, and two months later, he has not yet received his visa. Up until Jan. 27, every time he’d call, I would rush to the phone hoping he had a good news, that he is coming back. But the executive order last week poured water on my hopes. His case will not even be considered for at least another 90 days," says an unnamed Iranian national, data scientist, based in the United States who's  fiancé, an Iranian national is grounded in Iran.

"Our life plans are up in the air, and our professional careers can be compromised," she says.

A young Kiwi couple, both born in New Zealand, have been caught by the ban because the 24-year-old woman's parents were born in Iran.

The couple had already spent $8,000-$10,000 on tickets, accommodation and a $250 visa fee for a planned six-week trip around the U.S. from April 4 on their way to Britain, where they plan to work.

"We've booked an apartment in New York, and we were going to go through Memphis and all over the place," he said.

"Air New Zealand said they can re-route us through Vancouver or Buenos Aires, but we still can't get into the States.... We'll definitely lose a few thousand."

They can't even claim back the money they had lost from Air NZ because of a clause in the airline's travel insurance policy excluding "claims arising from any government prohibition, regulation or intervention."

SCENARIO 4

Divided By The Color Of Their Skin

A couple — a black man and a white woman — was astonished to be verbally abused and harassed while eating out. A man carrying a camera approached them saying: "Look at the f***ery, in a black-owned restaurant."

He then proceeded to ask the couple, "Excuse me, are ya'll together, like in an intimate relationship?"

"Yes, what's up?" replied the guy.

“You couldn't find no black woman? Like, you had to go that low, to the lowest rung of humanity. If they even humans, it's arguable that they even humans,” said the hateful man.

“What was it that made you that weak — that you'd get on your knees and bow to this less of a female — that's lesser than a black woman in every way,” he went on.

They're far from the only interracial couple targeted. Trump's America is seeing more and more of it every day.

 

Tennis star Serena Williams also got slammed when she announced her engagement with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanion because of his race.

SCENARIO 5

Same-Sex Couples

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Partners Alicia Verdier and Erin Hansen live in constant apprehension.

Though the president has said he would not sign the executive order legalizing broad discrimination against the LGBT community in the name of religion "at this time," he hasn't really satisfied anyone.

He never said he wouldn't sign it in the future.

Verdier remembers waking up at 3 a.m. after Election Day in a state of panic.

“All I could think was there was a possibility, with new Supreme Court nominees, we might lose our right to get married,” she said.

Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Reuters

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