Kris-Stella Trump is an immigrant.
Born in Estonia, she went on to study in England, at Oxford and Cambridge. In 2008, she was offered a fellowship, came to America, and earned a PhD in political science from Harvard.
"I got a lot of comments about how weird it was to be a Trump studying the adverse effects of economic inequality," she says. "In pre–Trump candidacy times, I'd say, 'I wish I were related, because then I'd be rich.' That joke got me a free upgrade on a flight once."
But since Donald Trump entered the presidential race in June 2016, things have been markedly different for Kris-Stella.
"I've become a lot more defensive about my name," she says. "He's so divisive — people love him or hate him — so I have to tread carefully."
For Kris-Stella, day-to-day transactions have become a psychological nuisance. "Every time I hand over my credit card or ID, I go through this internal process," she says. "Sometimes there's a really big mood change when a person sees my name, and I'll wonder if I'm being treated differently just because of that."
Jeff Trump, a young Southern carpenter whose Roman nose and blond hair could qualify him as blood kin, has fared worse.
"A few months ago, I was at a liquor store in Vermont — Bernie Sanders country," he relates. "When I showed the [cashier] my ID, he looked at me like I was crazy. He goes on this long rant about Trump and tells me I should be ashamed. I'm like, all right, bro, just give me my f-----g beer and I'll be on my way."
Out of fear, "Yasmin" Trump, an Iranian immigrant, requested I change her first name for this article.
"As someone who doesn't extoll the virtues of Trump, I'm scared to put my name out there," she says. "There are unstable Trump supporters out there with wicked minds. ... There is so much polarization around this man that's it plausible something bad could happen if they knew who I was."
Yasmin, who works in a public government position in Washington, DC, married into the Trump name 23 years ago. Since Trump's political rise, she's had her fair share of name-related interactions — including a recent spat with a gas contractor who came to fix a leak in her home. ("He saw my name and wanted to rant about Trump," she says, "and I was like, 'The leak is this way!'")
A first-generation immigrant, Yasmin reports that Trump's politics do not sit well with members of her family. "I have Muslim grandparents," she says. "Obviously, they are not voting for him."
But Yasmin says she and her kin often just try to make the best of an unfortunate circumstance. As a joke, she once auditioned for The Apprentice — "Horrible experience," she laughs — and her teenage son dabbled with the idea of running for student body president with the promise to "Make High School Great Again."
Others, like Noah Trump — a med school student and South Carolina native who is currently teaching English at an orphanage in Chiang Rai, Thailand — have tried their best to see the brights side of things.
"I honestly rather enjoy sharing the Trump name," he says. "I'll occasionally tweet at [Donald] asking for inheritance money, or tag him in Facebook posts. It's kind of fun at times."