This is an open letter to Melania Trump, husband of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. I am affiliated with no political party and endorse no presidential candidate at this time.
Last night, I saw a clip of your husband saying that he wanted to hit speakers at the Democratic National Convention. He specifically referred to a “little guy”, who he said he wanted to “so hard that his head would spin and he wouldn’t know what the hell happened.”
Melania, at 5' 4" and around 130 pounds, I’m a little guy. I’m not a Democrat, but as I strongly disagree with your husband’s positions, he might as well have been referring to me.
You and Donald have a 10-year-old son, Barron. If he’s like most boys, he will likely be entering puberty in the next couple of years. I, a trans guy, entered male puberty a couple of years ago myself, so I have an idea of what that’s like. I’ve experienced the raging hormones, the unexpected anger, the irritation and annoyance and impatience with yourself and anyone who gets in your way. If not controlled and directed responsibly, these emotions can turn into violent rage.
Please don’t teach your son that hitting people is an appropriate outlet for his anger. Don’t teach him that it’s OK to beat up “little guys” who disagree with him. Don’t let him embody the toxic masculinity that makes so many men think that fists or weapons are the way to handle conflicts.
You might counter that your husband was just joking about wanting to hit people, but violence to me is no joking matter. Threatening language is a form of bullying, and bullying is one factor driving young people, especially trans people like myself, to self-harm and suicide.
Your son Barron has a world of opportunities that few children could ever dream of. Please teach him to be respectful of those who disagree with him or members of his family. Don’t put the burden solely on “little guys” to defend ourselves from bullies.