Big Surprise

Trump’s gay niece says her family’s homophobia forced her to stay in the closet

Mary Trump, the niece of Donald Trump, has opened up about her abusive family in her new memoir. She reveals that she didn’t come out to her grandmother–Trump’s mother–after hearing her use the world “f*ggot.”

Mary Trump details the history of her family, including its ugliest moments, in Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man. In it, she describes a family history of shady dealings, emotional abuse, substance problems and the obsession with success that morphed Donald Trump into the figure the world knows today. She also recalls how often members of the family used derogatory slurs. That includes homophobic terms as well.

In 1999, Mary prepared to marry her longtime girlfriend–though she had not come out to her extended family. A week before the planned ceremony Mary had decided to tell the family. Then her grandfather Fred, Donald Trump’s father, fell ill, and the family gathered around his eventual deathbed. At that point, Mary overheard her grandmother say something that forced her to rethink coming out to her family.

Related: This Twitter account alleging to be Trump’s niece is beating him at his own trolling game

“It’s a disgrace they’re letting that little f*ggot Elton John sing at the service,” Mary’s grandmother said to the family. The group had discussed Princess Diana’s funeral, and the remark terrified Mary.

“I’d realized it was better that she didn’t know I was living with … a woman,” Mary writes in her memoir. Rather than tell the family, Mary opted to stay closeted. She went on to marry her girlfriend, and the two raised a daughter before their subsequent divorce.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Mary Trump further details how the family used derogatory slurs–especially of the racial variety–on a regular basis. “Growing up, it was sort of normal to hear them use the n-word or use anti-Semitic expressions,” she said. “Homophobia was never an issue because nobody ever talked about gay people, well, until my grandmother called Elton John” the f-word.

Mary Trump also confirms what Donald Trump’s critics have long accused him of: he’s an outright racist. “It comes easily to him, and he thinks it’s going to score him points with the only people who are continuing to support him,” she observes. “Growing up, it was sort of normal to hear them use the n-word or use anti-Semitic expressions.”

Mary Trump, now 55, who holds a doctorate in psychology, published her memoir on Tuesday over the objections of the White House.