I'll be honest: I'm not much of a political person. I'm uneducated when it comes to these types of things. It's not really who I am. But this year, this was the year was when I wanted to try to understand this election. I wanted to get a firm grip on what was going on in this crazy, one-hell-of-a-trip election. The same election where Donald J. Trump won.
The night when they were counting ballots, every news channel was keeping up with the action, I was on Facetime with my girlfriend. She was watching CNN while I was keeping up by looking at the election results on Google and refreshing every now and then. Her face was a swirl of different emotions: anxiety, nervousness, sadness, frustration and a little mix of anger. She kept telling me that Hillary better win or else she'd move to Canada. Me, being who I am, laughed and told her to not worry about it.
That night, I don't know how I was feeling, it all felt so surreal. I couldn't believe that was the night every American glued their eyes to a TV or any electrical device they could fine to keep up with what was going on. While I was in my dorm, on Facetime, I just seemed to let things happen. I think I was more worried about getting my paper in for my online philosophy class and getting my food on time. Priorities, right? I kept telling my girlfriend that "things will be" and that "it is was it is at the end of the day".
We were both determined to stay up together to see who'd win, but by 1:30 we were both asleep. It could've been from the exhaustion from doing work at the last second or the effort in trying to stay calm while watching the election results or maybe the intensity from playing 8-ball together for hours.
When I woke up, it was around 10 and the first thing I did was to turn on my laptop-surprise, surprise, my girlfriend had already hanged up. I refreshed the same Google page that contained the results of the ballots and what I saw honestly, truly, shocked me. It said that Trump won by 290 electoral votes. I don't know why, but I started laughing and smiling. I couldn't believe it. I knew I was awake, I knew I wasn't dreaming. But, it just felt like a joke to me. Throughout the day, I walked around my hall and campus to see students' faces scrunched up in sadness, fear and anger. I saw eyes surrounded by dark circles caused by staying up to the very end of the counting of ballots. I saw bloodshot, puffy eyes caused by crying. I heard so many voices that cracked when they talked about the election. In the same voices, I heard fear more than anger. Even when seeing one of my best friends, who was the most boisterous and talkative, decide to take an oath of silence for the whole day because she thought her voice didn't matter anymore, I still thought it was all a joke.
Through everything I saw and heard today, I was waiting for a Steve Harvey moment to happen. That there was a mistake. And, even now, I'm still waiting for the moment to happen.
At 4:30, me and the same friend who decided to not talk for the day, decided to go to this little discussion meeting by a fellow student who wanted talk about what was going on and how to deal with. Up until 4:30, I didn't really know to feel about the whole result. But, once we were into discussing what could and possibly happen, that was when I broke down in tears. That's when I realized that this was going to be my future for the next 4 years: fear and anxiety. It wasn't just the possibility of the obscure things Trump proposed; it was the hate that he boiled up from society. It was all the hate that came from xenophobic, homophobic, close-minded, ignorant racists that are full of misery. It was the power of their hate that drove me to having fear and anxiety.
We can't change who we are. My best friends can't change their beautiful, chocolate-like tones to match white tones. People can't just change their skin tones at the snap of their fingers. I can pretend to be straight, but I can't change my sexual preference just like that. People can't change who they want to love.
It's crazy to think and believe that the idea of a man raping a woman is okay. Then when said woman decides to have an abortion, she can go to jail. That's not okay. None of these things are okay. It's not okay for men to grab women by the pussy and think it's normal to do so. It's not okay for anyone to rip hijabs off of Muslim women. It's not okay to put thousands of dollars into conversion therapy when there are better and useful things that money can be used for, like actual therapy that can actually help people that really need it.
But even through all my fears I have for my family and loved ones, I still believe that people should still try to pursue in their dreams and passion. People should be able to do whatever they want. They should marry who they want, love who they want and be anything they want to be. We should all band together and support each other. We need to support each other. We need to still spread peace and love through these times.