I have become accustomed to certain names as I've grown up, perhaps feeling a little more at home in them than I should. I am stubborn and closed-minded, cold, and angrier than I would care to admit; I know all these things. However, that doesn't make it any less difficult to be so, especially in a world that tells women they do not have the right kind of strength, the right disposition, the right hormones to use anger to make any kind of real change. In fact, I have found in the past year that anger is a uniquely white and male privilege. There have been many instances during that time that have required emotion: the homophobic nightclub shooting in Orlando, the move to defund Planned Parenthood, rampant and racially biased police shootings in our cities, the inconceivable lack of punishment for rapist Brock Turner, and the sexist, racist, fearmongering rhetoric of our new President Elect Donald Trump.
We have been told to be silent in the face of these injustices or to at least quiet our voices to a more reasonable level. We have been told we are overreacting. We have been told we need to accept the results of the 2016 Presidential Election and open our minds and our hearts to the idea of Donald Trump in the White House. It's for the good of the nation. I am trying my best to understand that and to accept the, albeit flawed, democratic process, but I do not think I will ever be ready to open my mind, let alone my heart, to a person that consistently demeans and makes lesser anyone who doesn't look or think like him.
The intolerance and division that has made itself known in the mouth of Donald Trump and the millions of people on both sides of the aisle that turned to hate in the face of trial, makes me afraid as a citizen and a woman. I am afraid because our next president has boasted about sexual assault. I am afraid because there are people I love who I do not recognize anymore. I am afraid because I don't know how we can fix this.
Our next vice president is arguably the most homophobic candidate ever to have been elected to that office, and this comes less than a year after we finally, finally, legalized gay marriage nationally. And I don't understand it. I am sure a vast majority of Trump supporters have perfectly valid explanations as to why they voted for him, but I can't help but think in terms of the systematic inequalities their vote supports in an age that boasts of being the most tolerant generation in history. So it's hard for me to reconcile how exactly we got here.
But here we are.
I am so incredibly angry about it I sometimes find myself slipping into the same intolerance and hate that I cannot believe has become the symbol of the freedom that is America. So I am trying to remain vigilant and to not make coldness, stubbornness, and close-mindedness too much a home. Four years is a long time to be angry but we are not called to be silent. Fear is not something I will tolerate for this smallness of man. Endure and fight back.