I thought I should jolt down some thoughts and feelings about the election while everything is still fresh.
The media and the online community — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube — are currently going nuts about the fact that Donald Trump is now the new U.S. president-elect. Is this not the biggest political plot-twist of the decade?
Hillary Clinton has conceded and put out a nonetheless encouraging statement on her part. Obama has acknowledged that Trump won and has called for people to come together. However, millions of people — half of America, and countless others across the globe — are still very shaken and unsettled by the unexpected result.
Last night when I saw the announcement, everything had felt so, so surreal. The impossible has happened! I went to bed feeling very disturbed, but couldn’t really put my finger on what exactly I was worried of. I guess this is how it feels like when fear engulfs you so wholly that it leaves you feeling utterly confused. You’re unsure what exactly you are afraid of — or should be afraid of — and that in itself scares you.
Now, after a day of sulking, as we pull ourselves back to reality, it feels like we are collectively waiting for something worse to happen. We don’t really know what’s to come—maybe there’s gonna be another plot twist?—or the sequence of things that could potentially change our lives forever. Nevertheless, an evil foreboding hangs over all our heads.
LGBTQ rights took a huge leap under the Obama administration. In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court passed marriage equality, giving every same-sex couples the legal right to marry.
Because of that ruling, I was able to apply for the K1 fiancé visa, which allows a non-U.S. citizen enter the country to get married to a U.S. citizen. That wouldn’t have been possible for a gay person before marriage equality.
I waited six months in Singapore for the visa to be approved, and finally in August this year, my husband and I got married at the beautiful San Francisco City Hall.
Being married allows me to stay in the U.S legally, as well as gives me every right that a spouse should possess. Yes, thanks to the Obama administration, which has been such a strong ally for the LGBTQ community, I am where I am right now. We are where we are right now.
But after yesterday’s election, there is a rising worry that Trump and the officials he’s going to elect may threaten the rights of the LGBTQ community. Trump’s running mate Mike Pence is notorious for being very religious and anti-gay. He is somebody who hopes to do away with the anti-discrimination policies, which the Obama administration has implemented to protect LGBTQ folks, especially youths. He even believes in gay conversion therapy, which has been proven to be psychologically harmful.
Trump on the other hand said he wants to deport refugees and undocumented immigrants. For those who belong to that group and are LGBTQ, that could put their personal safety at risk if their home country is a hostile environment for an out individual.
I think it’s highly unlikely that marriage equality gets repealed, but hey, Trump’s election is already the impossible coming to life, so I guess… never say never?
Regardless, the bigots will have to fight to their last breath to take marriage equality away from us because that’s what every LGBTQ person in this country’s gonna do.
I do realize that I’m fortunate to be living in San Francisco, which is basically a “bubble” where liberals congregate and rule. I enjoy privileges, such as having access to a supportive community, which many other LGBTQ persons do not.
I worry that with the election of Trump and Pence, some of their supporters may see it as a sign to have free rein to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals — in schools, in the workplace, on the streets, at the bar, so on and so forth. Well, at least for the next four years.
Even in big cities like L.A., SF and N.Y.C., discrimination and bullying happen on a daily basis. I myself had met a stranger who so casually called me ‘faggot’ as he passed me on the street right in the middle of Hell’s Kitchen, one of the most gay-friendly areas in downtown Manhattan.
Just imagine how much worse things probably are for a LGBTQ person living in a smaller city or town or in a more rural region where people may not be as open-minded, or where a bigger portion of conservative Trump-ers reside.
Homophobia is REAL, and the same goes for sexism, racism and xenophobia, which are what the Trump campaign has but taught the world during this presidential election. Just like the song goes, This is a man’s world! It truly is. Or more explicitly, This is a white, cis-gendered man’s world!
In closing, I want to hope for a better future for all the minorities in this country. I want us to remain hopeful. Hope will keep us strong and push us forward. Let’s stop wallowing in grief and the could-have-s or should-have-s.
A big step back or not, this election serves an important life lesson: Whether you like the outcome or not, it’s your job to stay positive, and do as Dory says— just keep swimming, just keep swimming.
Or — just keep fighting, just keep fighting!