How I Repaired My Relationship with My Father, The Former Trump Supporter

Still cleaning up the mess, six months later

Jill Francis
6 min readJul 14, 2021


I was shocked when I finally understood that my father was going to really, actually vote for Trump. How could this be? Dad was a very young 69 and up until that point, was more likely to be found playing terrible guitar while drinking a negroni than getting twisted up over Hillary’s emails.

To my knowledge, Dad was also not suffering from early dementia or amnesia and therefore was well aware that I had been sexually assaulted as a young girl. He knew that I had struggled with my mental health as a result of that experience. He freaking cried his eyes out with me on more than one occasion because he was so sad about what had happened. So what in the hell was he doing voting for a guy who was trying to be the MVP of pussy-grabbing?

It made no sense that my father would vote for a man who was still living under the delusion that real, live women would welcome his orange digits pawing about their nether regions without their consent. Surely, my father had missed this very important detail about the slimeball-elect.


Two days after the infamous Billy Bush tape came out, I sat with my dad at a coffee shop and tearfully begged him to reconsider his choice. Please. For me.

He didn’t.

And so began the four-year rift between us. I took it personally that he voted for Trump. My father, like many of Trump’s supporters, took the comments as nothing but “locker room bluster” and not at all emblematic of the deep, vacuous cavern where the candidate’s soul should have been. Dad said that every US President was a skirt-chaser and it never mattered. I was being too sensitive, he’d said.

But all I heard was “You don’t matter.”

My father got behind Trump and his policies in a way that was shocking. None of Dad’s behavior or commentary squared with what I knew about the guy who used to tuck brown socks into the side of his snorkel mask and tell us he was “Scooby Diving”. Where was the guy doing the white man’s overbite to Michael Jackson in the living room with my brother and me? Where was the guy who took us fishing and put me in charge…



Jill Francis

American immigrant in Italy with too many degrees in Psychology. I write about everything I’m afraid of.