I wept with joy when the decision was made to nationally legalize marriage equality. Now, I’m afraid I’ll have to weep again as that right is taken away from me.
The first election I ever voted in was to re-elect Barack Obama as president. From almost as early as I was capable of having an opinion on politics, it seemed that the state of universal civil and human rights was improving—slowly, and haltingly, but always in the right direction. Now, for the first time I can remember, I fear that all that progress may be wiped away.
The Senate, House, AND President are all Red. If Trump and Pence begin pushing the discriminatory legislation they say they plan to, they could hardly hope to have more fertile ground to sow it in. And while I don’t equate all republicans with Trump, the faith I have in their motivation to protect the rights of minorities is smaller than the pat of butter on a rich conservative’s porterhouse.
Yes, I feel betrayed. But that betrayal was complete long before Trump won this election. It began when he was recognized as a viable political candidate in the first place–when the American people granted legitimacy to the hate-speech and bigotry he spread at every turn. Trump is not the person who betrayed me–I expect nothing better from his sort. I feel betrayed by the American people, who I thought I had come to know and love in my travels across the nation. En masse, they agreed with Trump. Even after his presidency ends, they’ll still be here. And now, they have the most powerful man in the world backing up their hateful ideologies and giving them a platform to spread. The damage that will do and has already done, no matter what policies this new term sees, will last longer than I care to think about.
I’m terrified for everyone in this country who isn’t a straight-white-Christian-rich-guy. I’m terrified for my community. While Trump has constantly vacillated on LGBT issues, Pence has made his agenda clear. He wants to strip LGBTQA individual of every right and dignity they’ve fought for in these past years. He wants to repeal the Employment Non-Discrimination act—yes, the leaders of our country are pro-discrimination! He wants to ensure that transgender people use the bathroom that he thinks they should. He wants to de-fund HIV prevention in order to give more funding to conversion therapy. He literally wants more people to get AIDS so that he can torture them into nonexistence. He wants to eliminate us entirely, one way or another.
I’ve seen a lot of messages today promoting hope and togetherness. But I cannot stand together with the people who want to treat me and those I care about as lesser. I cannot stand with the people who support a bigot, a racist, a sexual offender, an idiot. I cannot stand with them—not because I disagree with them, but because they are seeking to hurt me and mine.
As for hope—all that I can hope for is that by the end of Trump’s term, the state of America won’t be as bad as he and his running mate have exuberantly promised it will be.
I used to love this country. I realize now that this country never loved me.