I haven’t posted in the past two weeks because I’ve been in somewhat of a stupor, trying to wrap my head the results of this month’s election and understand what they mean going forward. There have been calls to mobilize and calls to grieve, but I’ve been stuck somewhere in the middle, still in shock at the reality of it all.
In the months leading up to the election, Trump signs lined the streets of Oxford and the surrounding area, but I expected most of the country would vote differently from the people in rural Ohio.
Typically, I try to keep my political beliefs to myself. It’s probably apparent by my attention to LGBT+ rights, my feminist mindset, and my love of the environment that I’m more left-leaning, but I’m usually good at remaining open and accepting of other people’s beliefs. However, this election has been a test.
Admittedly, I’ve really struggled to not pass judgement on the people who voted for Donald Trump. Even though his supporters include people I know and care about. Unlike most elections, this one feels personal, especially since so many people’s rights are at stake and since the Trump/Pence duo uses endless hateful rhetoric against people who are different from them.
They’ve made it more acceptable for the general population to be outright hateful to those living in the margins.
Over the summer and even through the beginning of Election Night (when Trump was winning, but Hillary still had a chance), I joked about leaving the US and moving to Canada. Of course, I had no intention of doing so, but it eased some for the fear I felt at the possibility of Trump winning. The reality is a different story; I no longer feel like I belong here.
While I still do not plan to leave the country (it’s not even a realistic possibility and I never expected it to be one), I’m trying to figure out what I can and should do to preserve as much of my personhood as possible.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on here yet, but I’m gay and some sort of gender variant (I’ve been questioning gender for a long time and it’s been quite a process, but I’ll save that for another post) and the odds for the next four years are not in my favor.
This evening, I attended a vigil as part of Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor the transgender people who lost their lives to hatred and violence during 2016 and acknowledged the consequences of a close-minded society as each name was said aloud. I left feeling sadness as the fact that things will likely get worse for people like them – people like me – over the next four years.
I’m doing what I can and will continue to do so as we march on in the face of widespread contempt for difference. I contributed a small donation to Planned Parenthood the day after the election and volunteered for the Crisis Text Line to which I was accepted into the training program this week. I hope to continue fighting for queer communities, communities of color, Muslim communities, immigrants, women, and anyone else who needs fighting for as we enter 1,461 days of Trump/Pence.
We will not back down.