On the first day of each semester, Kris-Stella Trump certainly told her students at Memphis University one thing: “Dr. Trump is not related to the president. It’s a complete coincidence. “
For Kris-Stella, who grew up in Estonia, there is no need for clarification only in the classroom – it is everywhere. In hotels, restaurants, bars, conferences and at the airport.
Questions from foreigners are common and can lead to unpleasant interactions. “I learned to speak [unrelated] in a way that basically avoids what I think of the president,” Kris-Stella said.
As a political science professor, Kris-Stella is very aware of how her surname influenced her life. “It’s like the polarizing nature of the policy that follows me,” Kris-Stella said. “I’ve spent my whole life thinking about politics, but it’s another aspect of what would otherwise be the private sphere.”
In 2016, Vox reported that there are more than 4,700 Trump in the US – almost everyone is unrelated to the president. They come from all over the country and from different walks of life, but share the surname that has become synonymous with the dividing age of politics.
Ken Trump. Photo: Courtesy of Ken Trump
Ken Trump, a school security expert based in Cleveland, Ohio, has often noticed that people respond differently to his name depending on where he is in America. When he told a school cop in Texas that his name was Ken Trump, the clerk replied, “I have no problem with that, boy.” In Los Angeles, this name can cause closer interactions.
“These are the daily interactions that have become part of my life,” Ken said. When she introduces herself as a fun icebreaker and conversation speaker, she often says “no relationship,” which helps him develop jokes with strangers.
When Ken went to Puerto Rico with his children and his Puerto Rican wife, his hotel staff told him, “This week, so you have a good week in Puerto Rico, you are Mr. Rodriguez,” citing his wife’s name as a single. The whole week he was amused by Mr. Rodriguez whenever he passed by. “It was an uplifting part of this experience,” he said.
The disadvantage is the surname: Ken went with his children to the restaurants when they wore red tracksuits and sweatshirts – part of the clothes of their sports team – with the surname stamped out. When the name “Trump” appears on the red clothing, people turned around.
“That’s why I’m glad I can put” Ken Trump, no relationship “there, because it’s such a polarizing name … you’ll eliminate the intensity of polarization we have in this country,” he said.
A hiker with a surname who once had primary jokes about a possible relationship with a millionaire. Lindsay Trump, a project manager for a construction company in Orange County, California, asked questions when she was younger whether she was affiliated with a real estate developer with a hunger for publicity and preparation for gossip in New York. “People would always like to,” Oh, do you have a relationship with Donald Trump? You can have all the money, ”Lindsay said. “Now it’s as if they don’t know what to say.”
Lindsay can tell people who are trying to reveal their political beliefs when her name comes. When people see her personally, she said it is quite clear that she is not related to the President: she is part of Hispanic descent.
“I don’t seem to have a relationship with him, so I don’t think people assume it [me],” Lindsay said.
Maxine Trump. “When I got up, they all made strange noises.” Photo: Maxine Trump’s courtesy
Regarding documentary filmmaker Maxine Trump, despite her British accent, people assume otherwise. “I’m white, blond, I live in New York,” Maxine said. The president’s two daughters, Ivanka and Tiffany, are currently in Washington, but the family is traditionally associated with living and working in New York, where Donald was born in Queens and began working for his father.
Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Maxine has been worried about her surname since her primary school because ‘trump’ means ‘fart’ in British slang. “When I stood up and had to give me a surname at school, they all sounded,” she said.
When the president entered politics, questions began to emerge and did not stop for Maxine. Like Kris-Stella, Maxine tries to politely answer questions without drawing them into the political arena. “This happens most of my adult life. It was okay and now it is always mentioned, ”she said.
If the conversation continues around the question “are you connected?” Maxine claims to often mention a documentary she made in 2017 entitled Trump Against Trumps. The video indicates that people who share the Trump surname may disagree with the president.
“I say,” I actually made a short film about it. “You should look at it because I think it would make you laugh,” Maxine said.