Election Aftermath: What To Do Now

Listen up, y'all.

Not a damn thing that matters has changed. This was a racist, misogynistic, hateful nation yesterday, and it still is today. The only thing that happened last night is that the bigots stood up to be counted.

I am angry, depressed, and a little scared. I want to give up. I will not. You can't either. This must not discourage us. It must galvanize us.

They are emboldened. We already knew that. This would be so no matter who won. A man with a huge Trump sign plastered to the back of his truck window tried to hit my spouse and I with a car just before the election.

We were taking a walk in the evening, in our residential neighborhood where there is very little traffic. He didn’t slow down or move over as he approached. Instead, he speeded up. So we stepped up into someone’s yard. He rode up onto the curb and for a moment we thought he was going to swerve across the lawn. Instead, he just slowed down to glare at us.

It’s possible he recognized me from my activism work downtown since I am well-known at city council meetings and walk frequently in that neighborhood, or possibly he just knew that my spouse and I are LGBT. The election hasn’t created more people like this. They’ve just become more brazen.

Yet, we cannot cower in fear. We must rise to meet the opposition. We must come out in force, and we must do it together. Intersectionality is imperative if we hope to create change in this environment. We must show those who seek to silence and destroy us that our conviction and solidarity is stronger than their hate will ever be.

The government will be against us, but it already was. The previous administration pacified the queer community with gay marriage so they wouldn't be as inclined to rise up with people of color in the face of rampant discrimination. We have seen intimidation and open hatred of the Muslim and Middle Eastern community; abuse, wrongful imprisonment, and deportation of the Latinx community; a pandemic of police violence and murder against the black community; and the ongoing invasion of Sioux land in the name of profit.

All those who are oppressed and marginalized must set aside our petty differences and join together to protect one another from those who would victimize us. Our inability to work together serves our oppressors. Unity can make us strong.

The government has never been a friend of minorities. Discrimination against any of us is against all of us, even when we are the ones doing the discriminating. However, it should be mildly encouraging that the government as a whole won't be quite as extreme as Trump. Even the majority of Republicans think he's a fanatic and a buffoon.

I call upon my fellow healers, protectors, and advocates. You are hurting, but I know you are strong, and you are needed more than ever. Uplift those around you, especially those who for so long have done the same for others. Support one another, and we will thrive as we always have. I'm not sitting down, I'm not hiding, and I am not leaving. I intend to fight for as long as I'm able.

In the words of the Greek poet Dinos Christianopoulos: “What didn’t you do to bury me. But you forgot that I was a seed.”

This is a challenge. Are you with me?

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