Anxiety gripped Mandi Headrick every second of the six-and-half hours it took to fly from Sea-Tac to Birmingham International Airport to reunite with her sister. Two years had passed since communication broke down with her family. But on that flight in 2021, she carried nearly a lifetime of arguments over her qualms with Christianity, their support for Trump (twice), and the trauma of their hurtful words: “Being queer is a sin” and “being liberal is wrong.”
Growing up gay, progressive, and agnostic in Woodstock, Alabama, she’d never felt fully accepted in a family where heteronormativity, conservatism, and God were elemental to daily life.
She loved her family,
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