Blue, mostly red election results.
Confusion summed up in 140-character tweets.
Facebook posts documenting overt experiences of harrassment- name calling, hate crimes, flagrant threats in the name of Trump.
Fear from my friends of color, LGBT friends, immigrant friends, friends born with a vagina- isn’t it crazy that having a certain anatomy part determines so much of how you’re treated in society?
Last night, 59.7 million people either voted for hate, or voted to be indifferent to a hateful leader as the symbol of the free world.
This morning, I sat in my car and wondered how I would compose myself enough to make it through a day at work.
I walked into the office with red eyes, hoodie over my head, wanting to talk to no one but my few friends who were feeling the same sorrow of a lost nation.
My supervisor approached me with some questions about work.
By the third question and my third mumbled attempt at a reply, he realized today, I was not myself.
“Last night was pretty crazy… you okay?”
I shook my head and *attempted* a polite smile. But my mouth couldn’t lie.
“Not at all.”
“I’m sorry, I know this is hard, but is there any way we could…hold off on mourning until tomorrow so we can focus on prepping for the review?”
I don’t mean to put my boss on blast, but his words blasted the feelings out of my chest.
For the record, this is a man who has always treated me with nothing but respect every day I’ve worked with him. He’s advocated for advancements in my career, he’s guided my growth as a writer and I’ve never heard him make any sort of culturally insensitive comment (this is a RARITY when you work in a majority white office). I have mad respect for him, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have privilege from being a straight, white male in America.
In his defense- because he doesn’t deserve to be judged- he didn’t approach me with malicious intent. Less than 10 seconds later, he realized how upset I was and encouraged me to do what I needed to do, if that meant sitting out of meetings for the day or going home. I know he too was upset about the election results that morning, but still had a responsibility as a supervisor to deliver, because work didn’t pause when Trump (BARF) won. He was only doing his job, and I don’t fault him for that.
Our country is about to be led by a man who has been accused of sexual assault more times than I have fingers to count, a man who incites violence against Black people, a man who generalizes an entire religion as terrorists, a man who chose a running mate that believes in “shocking the gay out of people.”
I am a woman who believes in reproductive rights and I’m a woman who has experienced the direct fear of sexual assault.
Our next president is a man who has made it clear he doesn’t understand the basic principle of consent, and has no respect for women’s health.
I am a Korean-American daughter of two immigrants. Everyone in my family has come to America from a different country, except my sister and me.
Trump has promised anti-immigration laws, deportation of Mexican-Americans (because if you’re living in America you are an -American), and though no one in my family is a Muslim, I cannot fathom the feeling of fearing for your safety or citizenship because of your religious beliefs. Trump’s supporters have been known to greet people like me with “go back to your country!” and “get out, chink!”
My closest friends identify as LGBT.
Our new Vice President-elect has supported *literal* nausea-inducing techniques to “chase your gay away,” including electroshock therapy. (Hey Mike Pence, how would you like it if I took jumper cables to your cheeks every time you were caught in your bass-fish-looking-ass-smile?) He’s also opposed numerous LGBTQ-equality laws, because…consistency.
There are black men and women in my daily life for whom I have immense love and affection.
I actively advocate for diversity in advertising, and persistently educate myself on more ways to be inclusive of people with views, beliefs and abilities different than the ones America has painted as the golden standard.
We are supposed to look to a man who mocks people with disabilities to lead 318 million people forward.
Do you see how I can’t put my shock on hold?
Do you see why I can’t wait until it’s convenient to mourn?
Your privilege as a white American, especially if you’re a straight male, grants you certain immunity from the hate that has been growing like a tumor inside this country, one that’s about to take over our entire societal body by manifesting and permitting hate towards marginalized groups of people.
I can’t freeze frame my life. I can’t pick out the pieces of it that are affected, and focus on the pieces that aren’t because there would be no pieces left of me.
Life may feel like it goes on for you, but it doesn’t feel the same for me.
How are you laughing?
How are you talking about the seasonal time of avocados or your favorite pilates studio?
How are you belting “THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW” as you glide down the office stairs?*
*This actually happened, and although I’m sure this man meant well, it was the last thing I wanted to see/hear.
My sun has set for four to eight years. My throat is clogged with the taste of vile. Today, I don’t feel like singing.
If you think I’m being dramatic by mourning the loss of a presidential preference, I’m not.
I’m mourning the loss of the values I held in the country I call home. I’m mourning the hope and optimism I felt while hearing “forward!” and “progress!” for the past eight years. I’m mourning the rainbow America I naively thought I lived in.
I don’t want to apologize for crying, for being overwhelmed with fear. For wanting to spend these moments with people I love, including myself. For not being able to pretend to care when you ask me about work.
The country I live in has just elected a president who is, at his core, against everything I am and everything I value.
So yes, I’m mourning today. And the next day if I have to. A week, if that’s what it takes until I find the energy to get back up and fight again. But don’t tell me how to digest this election. Don’t tell me to put my beliefs on hold.
And don’t tell me to stop crying.