Trigger Warning: Election Discussion
I need to preface this: I am 100% okay with you having an opinion, with your opinion being different than mine, and with us having a civil discussion about ideas and opinions. I am okay with you being of a different political party affiliation than I am. I am not at all okay with attacking, putting down, making fun of, etc., people for their opinions or affiliations. If you can’t handle that, please don’t bother commenting.
I’ve been trying not to talk about the election. There’s no easy way to think about it. There’s no easy way to talk about it.
Now that it’s over, and after taking a day to process it, I’m decidedly going to talk about it.
Donald Trump won the US Presidential Election this year.
I have no way to know what you’re feeling. Not unless you tell me. But a lot of what I’m feeling is fear.
There is a lot of fear right now. Emphasis on a lot. People are afraid. The LGBTQ+ community alone was breaking down on Tuesday night, and no doubt still is, I just took a step back from Twitter so I could process everything, so I can’t say for sure. I have never felt heartbreak like I did when I scrolled through my twitter feed Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. And there is no doubt in my mind this fear is probably being experienced by a lot of other communities as well right now.
I want you to know it’s okay to be afraid.
Whether you’re a kid and you don’t really know what’s going on, an adult who feels like you shouldn’t be afraid, anyone. Feeling anything, including fear, is 100% valid and important.
Part of what I’m afraid of is that you feel alone. I know how terrifying this time can be, and feeling alone makes it that much scarier. Please know you aren’t alone. I know feeling it and knowing it are two very different things, and I need you to know that at the bare minimum, I am here. You are not alone.
There are plenty of reasons I in particular am terrified about Trump winning the election.
I’m worried for my safety, my rights; living as an out queer person already wasn’t easy, and given the promise of taking steps backwards in terms of the rights myself and my community have fought so hard for, I can’t imagine it getting any easier any time soon.
I’m worried that all of the ideas perpetuated in the months leading up to the debate regarding sexual assault, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. are all more normal and acceptable now that he’s won.
I’m worried for all of the children, especially the ones who were crying yesterday, because a lot of them don’t know what to expect and are starting to not feel safe here either, and they didn’t have the opportunity to be heard.
I’m worried that we have failed them.
I’m worried for all of the teenagers and adults who are aware of what’s going on and don’t feel safe; the people who are afraid to go about their daily routines, such as riding the train to work, because they feel like they’re even more likely to be assaulted or harassed now.
I’m worried for everyone who feels alone and scared right now, who feels like they have no support.
I’m worried for everyone who was finally starting to find themself and now feels like they need to go back into/stay in the closet to feel safe.
I’m worried for the people who can’t be in the closet.
But most of all, I’m worried that no one cares.
The reason I’m worried that no one cares is very much connected with the fact that he won. Because I worry that all of the things he’s said, promised, and done didn’t matter in the slightest. That it’s okay for him to say whatever he wants about any group of people. And you can try to tell me it isn’t. But:
1) I already know it isn’t
2) If you’re not being sincere, really what’s the point?
3) He won the election
So yes, the idea that it is okay for these things to be said is now out there. Otherwise he would have faced some sort of repercussion. But he didn’t. So we established this is okay. And personally, I think that’s both shameful and terrifying.
This has nothing to do with parties. This has everything to do with ideas and reality. And now my reality is seeing the violent racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. every time I log onto social media. And I worry this is your reality too.
But despite everything, I’m more afraid of being invisible again than I am of being visible.
I’m not afraid of invisibility as much for my own sake as I am for your sake. Things could get really bad very soon, and even though there’s no way I can say for sure or have all of the answers, I can say this:
I’m afraid. I’m afraid because of the outcome of this election and because of the implications that has not only for communities, but for the communication about communities. I’m afraid, so afraid, that visibility will be drastically impacted by the outcome of this election. And despite all of the fear I may have, I’m going to continue to post and have ideas and be visible, because I feel it’s important. I will be visible for you, for the kids, for the adults, for everyone, because if you need it, I don’t want it to not be there for you.
I want to understand. I do. I don’t understand why people think this is okay, and I want to understand. I may not agree with you, I will likely still be absolutely terrified for what’s to come, but I don’t understand why he won, why anyone thinks this is okay, or why people keep telling me I shouldn’t be afraid.
You are not alone my friends.
Stay proud, stay strong, stay safe, and stay hopeful.