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Everyone has anxiety about what to do when the people at their Thanksgiving table say uncomfortable or offensive things. Teens deal with that too. Youth Radio asked three teens how adults misbehave at their tables and how they deal.
Robert Medina Fisher – More then half of the people that normally sit at my dinner table are homophobic, which is a problem because I’m gay. Before I came out to my family my aunt was like, “Why would we even want to support gay marriage? It doesn’t matter anyway, they’re all going to hell.” And then I couldn’t really say anything because I hadn’t come out at the time. And so then the following year I did end up coming out. And now I probably would address it.
Malia Disney – I made a kind of off-the-cuff comment about “you can’t just ban Mexicans.” My uncle’s girlfriend quickly responded. “Well, they’re bringing over their rapists.” And I was like wait I’m talking politics and I feel like there’s no way this is going to end well.
Charlie Stuip – I don’t have any necessarily blatantly racist or bigoted family members. They can say some definitely out-of-pocket stuff. If my grandpa goes on his long rant about why we have to defeat capitalism I just generally try and interrupt him and I’m like “Well, what do you do about it?”
MD – When I have a family member say something really out-of-pocket. I typically don’t respond. It’s just not worth it to get into the fight because I have to rely on my family to kind of pay for my education.
CS – Whenever I’m at a gathering that I don’t want to be at I just remember, I never eat this well when I’m by myself because I can only cook boxed mac and cheese.
RMF– Make sure you have your person with you. Then you can look at each other and talk to each other and you can be like, “Did this person really just say this?”
MD – Weigh the pros and cons. What can I get out of telling you off and what can I lose? If you’ve got nothing to lose just make sure you have your car keys or bus ticket in-hand and go for it.