You tell me to calm down. You tell me it’ll be fine.
First of all, you don’t get to tell me how I feel.
I am a bisexual woman. I have family and friends who are LGBTQ and minorities.
I am scared. I am sad. I am angry.
And I have every right to be.
Because it’s not going to be fine. It already isn’t fine.
Not when a man who ran on a platform of hate got elected to the presidency. Not when his vice president actively supports conversion therapy and stripping away the rights of women and minorities. Not when the world has seen the worst behavior not only condoned, but rewarded. Not when an Anti-LGBT hate group is running the domestic policy transition. Not when the architect of one of the most racist laws in modern US history and a man who wants to bring back McCarthy era witch hunts are being considered for prominent positions.
You tell me that there are checks and balances in the government. Yes, there are. One of those is US Senator Harry Reid who is speaking out about Trump. But with a Republican-controlled House and Senate, and the potential for Supreme Court Justice nominations those checks and balances can be eroded.
You tell me that Trump will back down and that he won’t accomplish everything he’s promised. That’s possible. But what if he accomplishes 10% of those things? Doesn’t sound like much, does it?
But what if I lose my health insurance?
What if I fall in love with a woman and no longer have the civil right to marry her?
What if my Hispanic friend’s kids are tormented and frightened and told to go back to Mexico?
What if my cousins are beaten to death because they’re black?
What if I’m raped or assaulted?
What if these things are done because of his policies or because of his hate speech?
If you voted for Trump or didn’t vote at all, can you look me in the eye and justify your choices?
Can you tell me that your beliefs are more important than my health and safety and that of everyone I care about?
I don’t hate Trump voters and the people who didn’t vote. But I do feel betrayed. You were given a chance to stand up for me, to support me, and you chose not to. If I know you personally, that cuts me deep. And the closer we are, the deeper that cut goes.
You gutted me.
Yes, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. To vote as his or her beliefs and values dictate. You say you had a right to not vote at all. That’s true.
But there are consequences. And one of those consequences may be losing my trust and respect.
I am not someone to whom anger comes naturally. Extreme emotional stress typically makes me cry. But this week, in between the tears, there has been red-hot fury like I’ve never felt before.
On Thursday, a friend said, “They woke the dragon.” And maybe that’s true. But it doesn’t feel like red-hot anger anymore. It’s still anger, but it’s something cooler. Something infinitely sharper and more effective. It’s determination.
This has been building for a long time.
To whatever degree I have kept silent when I could have spoken up, that is over now.
To whatever degree I’ve hidden my identity, that is over now.
To whatever degree I have allowed people to slide or given them the benefit of the doubt, that is over now.
I am done.
Tomorrow, I’ll finish putting together an action plan for how I am going keep these things from happening to myself and my loved ones. To all of you.
I will take some deep breaths and try to let go of the anger. I will mend fences with people I got angry with. I will try to listen to their concerns and their reasoning for their choices. I will try to reach across the divide.
But today I am angry. And that is okay.