If someone told me at the beginning of this month that Donald Trump would be president, I would honestly laugh. Hillary was dominating the polls, how on Earth could Trump pull through this late in the game? But he did. He pulled through and is now the president-elect of the United States of America. Clinton won the popular vote, sure, but he won the electoral college. Now he is going to be our president.
And I am afraid.
People have told me that I shouldn't be afraid. That I don't have anything to be afraid of. That Trump can't actually do the things he says he's going to do. I have been told to "stop being triggered," that "the world isn't a safe space," that I just need to grow up. None of that is right or true or fair. In the days since Trump's election, we have already had someone on our own school campus get attacked simply for wearing a PRIDE shirt. Someone simply living their life got cruelly attacked for being queer. If that isn't something that I should be afraid of, what is?
What about funding for conversion therapy, like Pence provided in his home state of Indiana? It is, in essence, psychological torture. Gay children - children - are told they are worthless, that they are nothing, to the point where many of them commit suicide or try to. They are made to feel like their identity is nothing, and then they are built up "in God's image," as "straight." They are made to feel like their identity is invalid, that it is a choice. Why would they choose to be something so many hate, something they would be incredibly ostracized for? I am afraid for us
What about LGBTQ marriage? When Trump has a majority conservative Republican Supreme Court, House, and Senate, checks on him will be few and far between. If they attempt to repeal the law allowing same-sex marriages, it will easily pass through the Supreme Court. People will not be allowed to marry who they love or be with the person they love. They will go back to being kept out of important medical decisions and adoptions and insurance and home ownership and so many things that being allowed to be married legally helped solve. We fought so hard for this right, for the basic right to marriage, and now it might be lost. I am afraid for us.
What about going to the bathroom? Something that seems so incredibly simple is full of so many horrible issues. Transgender and gender-nonconforming people aren't allowed to use the bathroom that they identify with in North Carolina already, due to the passing of HB2; this law also allows a minimum wage cap and repeals protection on minorities in jobs, but that is lesser known and ignored. A law like HB2 could become a national law, could be one that's upheld nationally. Women and men will be forced into bathrooms that aren't theirs simply because of the genitalia they were born with. I am afraid for us.
I am so incredibly afraid, but I also know that as a white person, I have a privilege that many of my queer friends of color do not have. And for all of you reading this, I want you to know that I am here. To my queer friends, my friends of color, my Muslim and Hispanic and Latinx and other minority friends, I am here for you. I am afraid with you, I am afraid for you, I am afraid for us. But I know that we can be strong. That together, we can overcome anything and everything. I believe in us.