I wonder if the Germans have a word for being utterly terrified but excited at the same time. That is how I feel right now. Of course I'm terrified because of the imminent era of Republican darkness. I'm terrified by the racist bullies who are being emboldened to come out of the shadows. I'm terrified that one of our country's most notorious anti-LGBTQ politicians is next in line for the position of most powerful man in the world.
Then, another unexpected feeling came upon me when I woke up on Wednesday and read the news. It was a strange form of excitement that I've never felt before. Don't get me wrong. There's not a drop of happiness in this excitement. It's total sadness and anger giving birth to something that feels powerful. Maybe it's the artist in me. I don't know exactly what form it will take yet, but I cannot produce any sort of vapid and light entertainment in the next four years. Everything must have weight and protest. Other artists know the feeling I am talking about. We are entering an era where our films, music and paintings must teach us and inspire us to be a better people. The arts are the only thing we have that might actually reach out and change those disenfranchised people who voted for Trump.
For all of us, this election was the biggest and most painful wake up call of our lives. We will never be the same. We learned the harsh lesson that all the noise we made on Facebook was in vain. We have been lazy and complacent.
It's going to be scary. It's a matter of time before you hear of someone you know getting attacked for their identity, gender or color. Maybe it will be you. We cannot cower. We cannot retreat to the closets. We must find the bravery within us. And I don't mean bravery behind the computer screen. Bravery in the streets.