It’s been a weird couple of days since I sat glued to the television and watched as Donald Trump inched closer to 270 electoral votes. I’ve known for a very long time that there was rampant bigotry in this country but I didn’t realize that there was enough to elect a terrible human being to the highest office of this land. And now, after the shock, numbness, rage have settled beneath the eerie quiet, I’ve come to realize that is wasn’t just hate that brought us here but an apathy for those who could suffer the most under republican control. And that apathy came from greed, or perhaps more accurately, selfishness.
Earlier today I a piece by a Trump supporter that explained how their reasons were not bigoted: But I am a single mother who can’t afford health insurance under Obamacare. The president’s mortgage-loan modification program, “HOPE NOW,” didn’t help me. Tuesday, I drove into Virginia from my hometown of Morgantown, W.Va., where I see rural America and ordinary Americans, like me, still struggling to make ends meet, after eight years of the Obama administration. And while I can understand the hardship’s we’re all facing, this paragraph slapped me in the face with one cruel truth: it was all me, me, me.
I’ve seen a number of stories like this and what amazed me time after time was how easily it was for someone to choose to improve their lot at the expense of someone else. In today’s world, is all too easy to hurt someone else than work towards a mutually helpful solution. My rights, and many others’, are now in danger from a man who has already said he’d sign legislation that would effectively legalize discrimination against LGBT people nationwide, so long as you claim it’s a religious conviction. His vice-president isn’t any better; Mike Pence is notorious for his anti-LGBT stances and even wanted federal tax dollars to go toward gay conversion therapy. These are the men elected to the White House.
I don’t know about you, but my bisexual behind is more than a bit concerned.
The fight for equal rights has been a long, hard and painful one. Since those brave men and women decided it was time to fight back in ’69, it’s been an uphill battle for LGBT people to be treated the same as their straight, cis brethren. Recently, marriage equality that won but there’s still a lot of work ahead of us. Trump and Pence as our country’s leaders puts it all in danger. It doesn’t matter how many times you show me that picture of the president-elect holding the rainbow flag, I can’t forget the words and promises of either man.
And it’s not just my people who are as nervous as s long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs; there are black, brown, Asian, Hispanic, Muslim, women and more all wondering where they stand in America… and for some of them, they wonder if they can even be here.
But the president isn’t a king, I hear. And that is so right; even someone as egotistical as Trump will have barriers in place to keep him from going too far. But he’s backed up by a congress controlled by his party, the party that, in their national platform, swore they’d rid the country of those damn same sex marriages because God said to. So, yeah, he’s not King Trump but DC’s court hates us enough to votes our rights away. But the Supreme Court will stop him. No, not once he names a conservative justice and the Senate approves; when that happens, LGBT people will have no recourse. You’re overreacting; it’ll never get that far.
That took my breath away, in a painfully suffocating-like way. Not because it’s an offensive cop out but because it comes from people who I trust, people I know. Here I am, worried about what the future holds for an entire group of people – a worry borne of Trump’s own vow – and I’m told I’m wasting my time. And I keep the angry words inside because I don’t want to drive a wedge between me and anyone else, not now when unity is so important and it just eats me up inside. Instead of screaming and cursing, I bite my tongue and remind myself that no matter how dark the road, there’s a light at the end, even if I can’t see it yet.
This will pass. We will survive. Meet the new mantra. Catchy, isn’t it? I’ve been clinging to it like a life raft, mostly ‘cause it is. It’s hope. It’s dreams. It’s a reminder that, like Mrs. Potts said, “It'll turn out all right in the end. You'll see.” As Disney hasn’t let me down yet, I’m playing that line on repeat for the next four years. But before we reach that little piece of Shangri-La, we’re in for one rough road lined with people who can’t emphasize with our fears of becoming society’s detritus after we are stripped of every right that’s been wrangled from bigoted old hands.
We are frightened. And those who claim to be our friends refuse to even try to understand why. They defend their candidate and their reasons for choosing him. They became angry when claims of bigotry are thrown about as why he beat out a woman with decades of experience and a history of helping those without privilege. No, they scream, she’s a liar! She can’t be trusted! Twenty years ago she called black youth super predators! Okay, so she is guilty of that last part. She’s also apologized for it a vowed to repair (or at least try to) the damage the law connected to it wrecked on this country. Donald, though, couldn’t even give a real apology for calling Mexicans rapists, bragging about sexual assault or mocking a physically disabled reporter. Donald lies non-stop even once presented with proof. But he was the trustworthy one, the only choice to fix this country. Those damn gays be, well, damned.
Yeah, really feeling the love, y’all. I totally get it. Because Hillary’s aversion to the truth (which wasn’t near the heights Trump’s reached) the only one who could save us was The Donald. And if I, and my fellow LGBTers, need to pay the price – freedom, future, happiness – well, I guess that’s what needs to happen.
Except that’s not true. All this country’s problems could’ve been fixed without throwing us under the bus. Half the voters chose the bully and his hate over the freedoms of American men, women, boys and girls (as well as those who don’t identify; they may be the most vulnerable of my little community).
Yeah, so, I toggle between hope and the ugliness that is it’s opposite. Like I said, it’s been a strange couple of days and, honestly, I don’t know that I was in the right state of mind to properly express my pain and disappointment and rumbling concern-turned-fear of what lies ahead. The wounds inflicted by the feeling of betrayal are still too fresh. All I know is I’m a writer and needed to hear the soothing clack-clack-clack of my keyboard before these thoughts jumbled back up. So I’ll end it here for now and leave the final word to The Daily Show’s Hasan Minhaj:
Peace out. And stay strong.