Through Grief and Gritted Teeth

I’m writing this Wednesday morning, as I work from home and try to process the fact that Donald Trump was just elected as President of the United States.

I posted on Facebook earlier that I have wanted my whole life to believe that people are basically good, but that this election is causing me to call that into question more than I ever have before. This should not have been a close race. A blustering white supremacist who brags about sexually assaulting women should never have even been in the running. But this is reality for all of us now. And if I listen and pay attention, I can see that the terror that’s trying to defeat me today is a terror that a lot of people (particularly anyone who’s not a white, cisgender male) were facing long before Tuesday night. Trump didn’t win out of nowhere. These societal rifts have existed for a long time; this election has just brought to light a lot of ugliness that we (white people in particular) have been all to willing to turn a blind eye to. The fact that it currently appears that Hillary won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote doesn’t change this.

It’s scary out there. I want to hide. I’m fighting back tears every few minutes. My impulse when I’m afraid is often to shut down.

But I can’t do that. Yes, I am queer and trans, and I have personal concerns in this political climate. But I am a white person who operates in the world as a man, and that means this is all going to affect me less than it will affect many other people. I have a responsibility to stand up for those people more adversely affected than myself.

To all of you out there who are Black, or Latinx, or Muslim, or Jewish…to all of you who are disabled…to all of you who are women, or non-binary, or somewhere in between…to everyone who feels not only disenfranchised by these election results but also afraid for your safety as you move through the world: I see you, I love you, and I stand with you. I am not perfect, and I am non-confrontational by nature, but I intend to do everything in my power to stand up for you at any opportunity. I am going to do my best to remember that although I am afraid, your worth as fellow human beings is far more important and powerful than that fear. I’m seeing a lot of #LoveTrumpsHate going around, but that’s only true if people in positions of privilege get off our asses and work to level the playing field.

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