I won’t lie to you; I am having a hard time staying strong today. I am having a hard time breathing, staying positive, hopeful, and empathetic. I am angry. I am heartbroken. I am afraid. I went to bed in tears last night, and I woke up crying again. I have broken down more than once at work, and I fear I will lose control and lash out if the wrong person says the wrong thing within earshot.
I am struggling to accept the results of this election and the reality of what is to come.
There are some who might think I am being overdramatic. There are some who would tell me to suck it up. There are some who would call me a sore loser. There are some who might laugh it off and assure me that everything will be okay. Classic America right? Oh well, lol, right? Let’s just move on, right?
The people who are walking around feeling just fine, maybe even a little proud, those people have no fucking clue what just happened because nothing is at stake for them. They are not afraid for their safety, their future, or their place in this country. They are white, they are male, they are privileged, or they are just plain ignorant.
This morning my boss came in and laughed off the election results. “Lol, crazy, right?” She didn’t understand why I would be crying. She just got married recently so I asked her how she might feel if she woke up this morning and had to worry about the future of her marriage? She had no words.
I asked her how she might feel if her whole life she never thought she could be married, then finally, she was given the right, a right she should have had all along, only to have it put into jeopardy the very next election cycle. She was speechless.
I asked her if it would be so funny if she woke up the one morning and political party that hated her was in control of every branch of our government. She admitted she couldn’t even imagine.
I’m happy for you if you didn’t doubt for a second if you and yours were going to be okay for the next four years. It would be nice if me and mine never had to worry about our rights being stripped or wonder if the politicians elected to represent us actually hated us either, but we do.
For us, this is no joke. For us, this election is about more than emails and lewd comments. This was about our right to live, love, and feel like a valued part of this nation. For some of us, this is about feeling like we have a right to exist in this country.
I am talking about women. I am talking about people of color. I am talking about Muslims. I am talking about the entire LGBTQ community. I am talking about Latinos. I am talking about immigrants. I am talking about refugees.
I am talking me, and my fiancé, and my friends and family.
President Obama wasn’t perfect, neither was any president before him, but he stood up and said I had a right to marry the woman I loved. He promised one day I would, and he delivered on that promise. President Clinton wouldn’t have been perfect, but she stood up and said that I—and many other female, non-white, non-heterosexual, trans and non-binary people—had a right to be here too.
For some people, that means everything.
If you’ve never watched a politician stand up and say to the entire nation that you and people like you do not belong here, do not represent America, and do not deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, you cannot understand the pain so many citizens are feeling today. You cannot know how this hurts. You cannot grasp that for us this is not about Trump and Hillary, this was about our respect and dignity!
If you did not wake up with a hurting, angry, or fearful today, I beg you to keep your thoughts to yourself. There are some of us who are in great pain and need time and space to heal and hope again.
Please allow us that, it is all that we have on this day of mourning for a country we had just begun to feel a part of.
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