So, I went to bed last night in a different world than I woke up in. That’s a weird feeling—waking up one day with hope, the next with fear.
If you’re a cis, white, straight, wealthy male like Trump, you’ve probably never experienced this feeling. You’ve probably never been told that the majority of your country believes that you, as a human, are inconsequential. That you do not matter. That your gender, race, sexuality, immigration, or socioeconomic status is equivalent to pulling the short straw, and that you should spend the rest of your life being punished for it.
Do you, my fellow Americans that voted for Trump, understand what this feels like? What it feels like to work your ass off in and for a country, just to have it spit in your face? What it feels like to be afraid to wake up, because you know that if you are a woman, immigrant, Muslim, poor, or have special needs, you are in danger? Or if, god forbid, you’re more than one of those things, that the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness seems to no longer apply? That if you were to be sexually assaulted, cheated, discriminated against, pregnant, robbed, or hurt, you would not be protected?
You will not silence us, you will not scare us, and you will not make us afraid. We will not let you force us into retreat.
Yesterday, my birth control was affordable. Yesterday, my creative profession was secure. Yesterday, my hard-working parents were protected. Yesterday, I knew that if I were to be raped, I would have a chance at justice. Yesterday, I knew that if I was to become pregnant because of that rape, I could make the decision to end that pregnancy. Yesterday, I knew that if I were to fall in love with a woman, or have an LGBTQ child, that we would be okay.
Today, I’m repeatedly telling myself that I have worth, even though the country I call home is telling me I don’t. And to all other women, survivors, LGBTQ, differently abled, minorities, immigrants, and poor, to anyone who has felt singled out by this—you matter. Like, a lot. And from here, we only go higher as they only go lower.
Because here’s the thing, Trump: You will not silence us, you will not scare us, and you will not make us afraid. We will not let you force us into retreat. Into fear. Into bigotry. We know you want to keep up quiet, keep us in the kitchen, in the bedroom, and in your back pocket. But we have voices and, now, they’re about to get louder than ever.
We see now, what we’re up against. We will not be so complacent the next time around.
We have a responsibility, now more than ever, to the strong women and men who have come before us—Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, Ruby Bridges, Bayard Rustin, Dorothy Height, Harvey Milk, Malala Yousafzai. Barack Obama, Laverne Cox. There are more, but the list is too long. Because we’ve been fighting for what feels like an eternity.
To the strong woman alongside us—Hillary Clinton.
And to the strong men and women who will come after us—our daughters, our sons, their daughters, and sons.
We’ve still got work to do.
But we’re ready.