Stories from the 2016 Election

The following are stories I’ve seen cross my Facebook feed.  These are stories from people I personally know – those I’ve worked with, broken bread with, played with, and, yes, sometimes argued with.  These are all stories of fear:

Obama was my president. I didn’t vote for him, because I can’t vote. It’s because of Obama that I can work, have health insurance, have the peace of mind that I won’t be deported.

Obama was the president that after many, many years of never calling myself an American, I finally was proud and called myself a real American. He really did give me hope and did give me change.

Everything that President Obama accomplished culturally could all wash away if Trump wins. I will once again fear deportation and my legalization will again feel like an impossible task.I will again be a man without a country, hated by one and foreign to another.

What will a Trump presidency mean for my mom, who isn’t American?

What will a Trump presidency mean for my sister, who works to bring foreign students to America?

What will a Trump presidency mean for both of them, since they are women?

What will a Trump presidency mean for me, a member of the LGBT+ community?

What will a Trump presidency mean for my father and brother-in-law, who have to watch and wonder what will become of their family?

And we’d be getting off easy compared to many other people. I think Novembers are cursed.

And just so we’re really clear, my fear of being sexually assaulted has gone up by about 10,000%.

Leaving the gym this morning, two guys, probably around the age of 20, walked in. One flipped me off and yelled “President Trump wins and you lose Fag”.

Since I woke up this morning I have been called a misogynist, a homophobe, and an Islamophobe. I’ve been called illiterate, stupid, racist, and crazy.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there are not a lot of pro-trump posts on FB today. I can tell you why that is.

Because if someone were to post something pro-trump, the people who talk so much about ” love, tolerance, and acceptance” would bully… hate… and unfriend them.

I can’t remember the last time I felt so scared by the outcome of an election. To have even my own state turn around and say that people like myself and other minorities are second-class citizens is, to put it bluntly, a blow to the gut. Trump and Pence have made anti-LGBT sentiments part of their platform and I’m terrified of what could happen in the future to me and others I care about.

People say Trump is relatable because he “tells it like it is.” Does he really? Or does he simply tell it like you want to hear it? I already felt America was great and I truly hope it will continue to be so in 4 years time.

Neither major political party exhibited the better part of its ideals during this election cycle.  However, Trump’s campaign and many of his supporters employed a lot of hateful rhetoric directed at very specific groups of people. Now, many people who voted for Trump don’t support that attitude.  However, I just want to point out that those to who could be and have been affected negatively by this election – especially those who were specifically called out in campaign speeches and rally chants – are deeply afraid.

I can’t remember seeing this much fear in casual conversation since the 9/11 attacks.  At this moment, whether that fear winds up being validated or not, it is real.  When people are afraid, they can lash out from that fear. When we in the majority are attacked, we need to take the harder road and respond with love and empathy.  Our compassionate response can do much to alleviate that fear.

And that’s what will make America great again.

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