On Tuesday night I sat on the couch in the living room of my sorority house watching the election with my sisters. We were not all democratic or republican, and we had not all voted for the same candidate. My sisters and I shared our concerns with each other. We are on the edge of our seats as the evening became dire, and some went to bed once it became clear who our next president would become. Hillary Clinton told her supporters to go home, that the election would be just too close to call for the night. The ceiling was made of glass. Minutes later, Donald Trump became president elect, and Hillary Clinton called to concede. My sisters and I sat in silence for a moment. My mind could not process this. Shock, disbelief, and numbness filled my senses. As a lesbian woman, I fear for my rights, and the rights of my loved ones.
The next morning came much too quickly, and this election was not simply a dream. Instead, I was facing a nightmare of a reality. I fear the unknown life I will face for the next four years. I truly did not believe Donald Trump would become president. I obviously knew it would be a possibility, but I did not want to consider it being a possibility. I received hugs and kind words during the day. The election results became more clear to me as the day wore on. Out of the people I spoke to, a majority expressed fear. I have friends who fear for their future because of their religion, their immigrant status, or the color of their skin. My professors told us that they were here to listen if we needed to come talk. Nothing seemed completely real on Wednesday, and I went through my day in a fog. It feels like the "bad guy" from a superhero movie won, and no one has come to save us.
Teachers have seen an increase in bullying since Donald Trump has had more coverage in the media. My five-year-old brother knows he does not like Donald Trump. Donald Trump may not be as extreme in presidency as he was during his campaign, but this does not mean his influence stops. I saw quite a few suicide prevention helplines posted on social media as Donald Trump was named president elect, something I did not see when President Obama was elected. This is not an exaggeration; this is reality. Violence and injustices against Muslim individuals has increased, and women are afraid to wear their hijabs outside of their homes. No one should live in fear of something they cannot change, or is an inherent part of who they are. I have seen love and support from so many people around me, and I know this will not end.
I can’t change the fact that I am gay any more than I can change the fact that I am a woman. I am not apologetic for who I am, and I refuse to do so. I do not wish to sit idle as this happens. Rape culture exists in our society, and I am afraid we will see an increase in this with Donald Trump as our president elect. I do not vilify people who voted for Donald Trump, but I do not believe that who he is as a person can be separated from his policies. If Billy Bush is fired from his position as a reporter for saying lewd things about women, I do not understand why Donald Trump is fit to be president. I cannot forget about this. I cannot forget about the hate he causes. I have moved past my anger and instead feel hopeless, if not sorrow. I can only hope that America can become stronger after this challenge, and that my friends and family remain safe during this challenging and fearful time. Love one another, because If we don't have love, what else do we have?