I used to be very spoiled. Not from my parents or anything, but from MY President-Barack Obama. Obama was elected when I was 12 years old. This was right around when I could start understanding politics and the world I lived in. I had the pleasure of having Obama as MY President for 8 years after that. He was in office when I started high school, graduated, and when I entered college. He was also in office when I came out.
Yes, I had some internal struggles when I was coming to terms with my sexuality. But so far, I’ve been pretty lucky while being a part of the LGBT+ community. When I came out, I received a tremendous amount of love and acceptance from my close family and friends. I did not feel like an outcast in my community and I especially did not feel rejected by my government because of my sexuality.
About a year after I was out, Barack Hussein Obama called the Supreme Court ruling requiring states to recognize same-sex marriage. MY President did that for ME! I remember that day like it just happened. I felt so loved, accepted, and safe.
Fast forward a couple of years later to the 2016 election. My heart is heavy and my anxiety is racing. I was intensely Feeling the Bern, but unfortunately my man Bernie did not make the cut and I put all my hope into Hillary. Hate and lies spewed from Trump’s mouth every time he opened it and I’ll be honest, I really did not think that this country would elect a talking orange. But in the span of a couple months, I saw the place I call home turn into something unrecognizable.
I woke up on November 9th feeling colder than the day before. I was scared to go to school that day. I’ve always felt safe on my college campus but that day, I felt like the sun could fall out of the sky. I saw republicans, conservatives, and bigots on social media celebrating their victory. Celebrating hate. My heart hurt and in the span of 24 hours, I suddenly felt rejected by my government.
And now life is hard. I no longer feel protected by my government. My diversity is no longer celebrated or recognized by the government. I now take an extra second to think about if I should hold my girlfriend’s hand in public. Hate speech is now common. I now have to check and double check my surroundings to make sure I am safe.
Transgendered people are not allowed to fight for their country and they can’t even use the bathroom they wish to in certain places. I now have to play the “what are the odds..” game when making plans to go to Pride or any LGBT+ themed event or place. Hate crimes are happening more and more all over the country and 9 times out of 10, Trump is not strongly condoning the actions of his supporters.
The person in charge of this country seems to be in favor of hate. And now all of his followers see that there really isn’t any punishment for hate crimes. So I urge you to do what the government isn't-be an ally and stand up for the oppressed.
Protect your Black, Muslim, and Hispanic brothers and sisters, don’t let hateful comments slide under the rug, respect minorities and advocate for their human rights, CELEBRATE PRIDE MONTH (cause’ Trump couldn’t be bothered to acknowledge that this past year), educate yourself, use your privilege-if you have any-for good and not evil, and don’t let your silence put you on the wrong side of history.