I went to bed at 2 a.m. after John Podesta made it clear that there would be no speeches (I haven’t checked yet and assume there weren’t any) feeling like everything I believed in had been a lie–that someone gave a good yank on a loose thread in my sweater of a worldview and unraveled the whole thing.
This morning I’m in shock. The sun has indeed risen, and the beautiful color in the leaves is still as brilliant as ever. But it’s tinged with the reality that the world has just changed in a major way.
While what looks to be a Trump election is horrible in my mind, I fear less for the nonsense he has said than I do for what Republicans in Congress have been saying all along that they want to do, and the overall tone of this election from the electorate itself.
As a gay man, I fear for the legitimacy of my marriage. I fear that this feeling I have grown accustomed to over the past year that I am a full, normal human being in the eyes of society will be stripped away sometime soon in the next.
As a human being, I fear for the state of race and religious relations in the United States–for my Black, Latinx, Muslim, Native American friends, and anyone that looks like them. No matter what you think about racism in America, you can’t deny the level of racist rhetoric in this campaign.
I despair for all the women in my life who were so hopeful and excited; all the women who paid tribute at Susan B. Anthony’s grave yesterday; all the women who have fought for equal pay, an end to sexual harassment, and come out against rape culture in America.
I fear for the state of the environment and the planet in general. The entire world has finally come together to commit to fighting climate change, albeit far too late in my opinion. And we just elected the people who are more concerned with piping oil through sacred sites in North Dakota than ensuring a future for their children and grandchildren.
Most of all, I fear for what will be required of me. Will I have the energy and courage to stand up for myself and those around me victimized by these changes in America? I feel now more than ever that I can’t just sit back and trust that the good in people will prevail. That’s what I was thinking yesterday–“It may be close, but surely in the end we’ll continue forward.” Nothing is guaranteed anymore, and as I’ve heard so often from those with differing opinions, “Freedom isn’t free.”
The question now is, “How much am I willing to pay?”