Oh, but we didn’t really think I’d stay quiet about this one, did we? It may have taken me a couple days to ruminate over and mourn the events of November 8th, but fear not, the grieving gloves are off, and I’m ready to rumble.
Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States. Typing that sentence sends waves of ire and nausea throughout my fragile body. Our LGBTQ brothers and sisters face a GOP platform that boasts the most anti-LGBTQ agenda in the history of the Republican party, with promises of not only overturning gay marriage but the practice of conversion therapy. Our black brothers and sisters face the leadership of a man endorsed by the KKK. The KK-fucking-K. Our Muslim friends face the imminent and deeply real threat of deportation. And none of this—none of this—accounts for the recent violence against these minorities under Trump’s name that we can only assume has just begun.
Fear. Fear courses through my body. I am a white woman (I’ve also got hella Native American blood in me…like, grandparents growing up on the Caddo reservation, got my tribal card, do a little raindance for ya kind of Native American, so talk to me about immigration one more time, Trump). I am a well-educated, financially stable white woman, so quite frankly, I have it pretty good under this Trump/Pence duo. Sure, they’re the most misogynistic, anti-woman duo to ever hit the White House. Sure, my bodily and reproductive rights are at stake. Sure, my access to birth control might be severely compromised (which, by the way, anti-choice people among us, sounds like a totally solid plan in the fight to end abortion. Way to go). Sure, as one of millions of women who’s endured a brutal sexual assault, the man I’m supposed to call my president has not only openly admitted to forcefully “grabbing women by the pussy” but is set to stand trial for the rape of a 13-year-old girl in December. But, again, all of that? That’s nothing.
The fear I face is a mere blip on the proverbial radar screen compared to that of my friends. My gay friends. My black friends, my Muslim friends. Any of my friends who dare not to fit the straight, white, male mold. I woke up on November 9th with a feeling unlike anything I had ever felt before. I felt unsettled. I felt afraid. I felt unsafe. I still do. But after a while, I realized something—something pretty important, so listen up. I realized that I had never felt this way before. In my 24ish years of life, this was the first time I had felt this rattled, this shaken, this afraid in my own country. But my friends? My gay friends, my black friends, my Muslim friends? They feel it every day. Every damn day. This election has electrified that fear, but make no mistake, it was there before.
This fear is here and this fear is real. Whether you voted for my girl or you voted for that potato, you need to acknowledge that. Yes, we need unity. Yes, we need to come together. Yes, we need love. And we’ll get there—eventually. But right now, people are scared. And they have every right to be. You don’t get to tell them not to be afraid. You don’t get to tell them to “suck it up.” You don’t get to tell them that this whole “thing” is simply a “difference of opinion” when there are lives at stake. You don’t get to make that call.
So, be afraid. Talk about it. Say whatever it is you need to say. You’re allowed to feel what you need to feel. And when you’re ready, we’ll do what we always do. We’ll fight. We’ll fight for freedom. We’ll fight for unity. And we’ll fight for love.
Because love trumps hate. Love trumps hate.