On the 2016 Presidential Election.
I posted this on Medium on my last account. Same username and stuff, but I purged the content to start fresh. Anyways, this is the one post I wanted to save. It means a lot to me. I’ll tell you why later.
I am sitting on the couch in my home, looking at the television through clouded eyes. My iPhone is buzzing with text message and Facebook message notifications. Donald Trump currently sits at 244, Hilary Clinton at 215. There is a deeply false sympathy in the voice of the CNN commentators; Andersoon Cooper honestly looks like he wants to scream. MI, NH, PA, WI are too close to call.
But in my gut, I know where they will go.
It is 12:17, and I just heard the words “President Trump” for the first time.
I’ve been thinking a lot over the last day about what to say in regards to what has happened. I needed a good 18-ish hours to sleep, work, and cool off. That being said, I don’t think you need to look deeply into me in order to know who I supported since 2015. That’s as plain as the strong nose on my face. And, I think I am ready to talk about my feelings in a public manner now. I feel like I’ve hit that sweet zenith of emotionally sound and rhetorically emblazoned.
I also know what I am about to say has been furiously composed into millions of Facebook statuses. But, I have to be honest: I am shaken to my core. I have a lump in my throat the size of a fist. I never imagined that Donald Trump could become commander in chief. I laughed when I thought that he would have the locations and codes to nuclear weapons. I brushed it off when he even said he was running. I honestly though that the best thing about his submission into the primaries would be a good Saturday Night Live caricature.
And now we are here.
I am going to say this again for the people in the back: we are facing four years of misogyny and bigotry. Say what you want about “business savvy this,” or “tells it like it is” that, Trump’s portrayed social values and behaviors are clear signs of a hateful, selfish human being. And, anyone who thinks that Donald Trump is in office for YOU, and that he is going to make America great again, you are misinformed. Do you really think a man in the one percent cares about your money or jobs? Do you really think a former reality star and media hog knows a damn thing about how to run a country? A business empire is one thing, a country with MILLIONS of lives is different.
This country never was great. From day one, it has been majorly flawed. It has had moments of light and hope, but never has it been great. Good, at best. A solid 2 out of 5.
I am gravely concerned for the social climate of this country. My friends and family are THE most important thing to me. I am worried for their happiness. I am worried for their right to healthcare and health. I am worried for their safety. The bigots and racists have crawled out of the woodwork, the fear provoked out of them like a hornet’s nest knocked from a tree. They are around us. And that scares me beyond comprehension.
The America I fantasied and naively thought I lived in has been nothing but a thinly veiled illusion. As a dear friend put it, I feel as though I am grieving the loss of something I loved. I feel as though I have lost something I thought loved me back, when it never did.
I guess I don’t believe there is ever a good time for anything, and I feel compelled to say it. These words are forcing themselves through my fingertips. And, some of you know these, some of you do not: I am scared because I am a queer individual in a nation that is being run by openly homophobic heterosexual men. I am scared because I am a woman who is threatened with the idea of losing the right to her own body. I am a survivor of sexual assault with a man in office who talks about grabbing women by the pussy — something that happened to me. I am mentally ill, and face losing healthcare coverage for the necessary medications and therapy needed to keep me alive. I have a fat, socially-rejected body and a person of power who degrades women’s body types is supposed to be my leader.
For these reasons, I am scared.
But, I have nothing to lose at this point by coming forward about these things, as all around me seems lost anyways. In spite of the heaps of privilege I do bear as a white, cisgender middle-class citizen, I am feeling more fear and despair than I ever have before, and now I hope you understand why.
(Quick sidenote, for those who are like “Wait, what?” — I have self-identified as bisexual for at least nine years, but have been afraid to speak publicly about it for a lot of reasons. Mostly out of fear of disappointing people or losing friendships, or putting myself and family in danger of harassment or discrimination. I was sexually assaulted in a bar during January 2012, in Wisconsin. I hope you choose to address me about these situations, and no one else around me. If you have questions, please address me directly. This is my life and decision to come forward on these subjects, not theirs.)
I want to make this very clear: I will never acknowledge or accept Donald Trump as my president. As a formality, yes, but never as MY president. I mean, if I have to write an essay that mentions the President, I will say it, but in other cases, no. A man who disrespects me and my values does not deserve my respect in return.
I will still respect those who serve our country, and what America has left to offer. I am grateful for the brave men and women who fight for our country in the military, and for those who work in public office. But, I will never approve of or accept it’s new “leader.” For the way he speaks of the human beings around me, I cannot follow in his ideological footsteps.
I will still respect you if you are kind to me and do not threaten the safety of me, my family, or friends — no matter what was on your ballot. I am fine with fostering healthy discussions, but at the first sign of anger or bigotry, you’re out. And don’t try to come back with an apology; this is a one-strike, you’re-out thing.
But I want you to know that I vehemently oppose Donald Trump. I am infuriated by how he speaks of the disabled, women, immigrants, and refugees. I find his foreign policy deplorable, and his diplomacy a joke. His history with women and children and the sexualization of them is disgusting. He is a common crook.
He is not and never will be a President, in my eyes. And the most patriotic thing I can do is not support him. When you assume the role of President, you become responsible for the life, liberty, and pursuits of happiness for everyone. Not yourself. Being president is a selfless job, and the most selfish man I’ve ever heard of or seen is now in the driver’s seat. When the values of Patriotism are challenged by the President himself, how can one remain a patriot? Simply put: they cannot.
To my brothers and sisters in fear of tomorrow: I want you to know that this morning, November 9th, I woke up and saw the sun rise. It was a beautiful autumn day, with a light breeze that danced through my hair. It smelled of broken leaves and a kiss of the frosts to come. The world will continue to turn as it always has, and we must do the same. We must continue to wake up, enjoy the sunrises, kiss our loved ones, give back, and work for peace as hard as we can. In the peaceful moments of our grief, the strength to move forward can be found. Let us build, build, build this strength, and start a peaceful revolution towards a better global community.
I want you to know that I am standing in solidarity with every marginalized man, woman, unicorn, and human being. You are not alone. I am there with you in these moments of fear. I will ALWAYS defend you to the best of my ability. Your safety and well-being is important to me. I will be your ally and sister in solidarity until I am beaten to the ground. This is my promise. You are safe with me.
The sun set after my day at work, and the sky was a watercolor blue and peach. The chill in the air went from a whispered conversation to an out-loud discussion. And when I came home to a frolicking puppy and a soft bed, as I always do, I realized that being okay takes time. It won’t happen right away. And the fear you are feeling now is normal. Let yourself feel it. And then, with time and strength, it will pass. I am reminded of a favorite verse of mine:
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes with the morning.”
And just imagine how good things will be when the sun rises again and our strength is rebuilt.
With hopes of a peaceful tomorrow and better global community,
PS — before you all get mad at me, Republican friends, I understand that not every single person who voted for Trump is a racist asshole. I get this. Some people agree with his economics, foreign policy, what have you. But what I dislike about him the most is that his general ideology and rhetoric is dangerous, self-absorbed, and violent. I hope you understand and took into account that when you filled in the bubble on the ballot. I hope you understood that you supported the whole of this candidate, even if some of it was, to you, questionable. I hope you are ready to defend yourself to those who ask why you voted for him. I will not be the person to drill you with questions. But, please know and comprehend the consequence and weight of your entire vote.