'Afraid' Is Not Knowing If You Can Openly Be Yourself, NOT Whether You Can State Your Political Opinion
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Politics and Activism

'Afraid' Is Not Knowing If You Can Openly Be Yourself, NOT Whether You Can State Your Political Opinion

You choose your political support. I can't choose what I am.

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'Afraid' Is Not Knowing If You Can Openly Be Yourself, NOT Whether You Can State Your Political Opinion

Apparently, Republicans and Trump supporters feel "afraid" or "uncomfortable" expressing their opinions and political affiliations in a "liberal" world. I've certainly read quite a few articles on here from college-age Republicans who've stated so.

And it's laughable because they don't really know what it feels like to be afraid.

"Afraid" is not feeling like you can publicly be yourself. That you can't fully own your identity and embrace it, because there are people out there who hate you for everything you are and would harm you without feeling guilty.

"Afraid" is not knowing if it's safe to tell someone your religious identity.

"Afraid" is not feeling like you can come out on your sexuality because people, possibly even your own family, may hate you.

"Afraid" is knowing that you could be hurt or killed because your skin color isn't white. And that would be the only reason. And your assaulter might not even get properly punished for it.

I once had a coworker tell me if I ever came out as bisexual, he'd never speak to me again. Like that was his breaking point. Speaks volumes about this world we live in, huh?

I am Jewish. I fear being attacked for my religion. And considering the rise in anti-Semitic events lately, even on my own college campus, that's an increasingly valid fear. It's currently Hannukah, and I'm scared to have my family's lights visible from the street because someone might decide to attack us since we're openly signally we're Jewish. I work in a kosher coffee place and fear someone may come in with a gun. My sisters attend Jewish day schools and my mother works in one; I fear a school shooting could take place. My father wears a yarmulke and I fear that someone could see and choose to hurt him.

I'm a woman. I live in fear of being sexually assaulted everywhere I go. I'm afraid to go places alone, even if it's the 5-minute walk from campus to the parking garage, because it doesn't take long for something to happen.

I have trans friends. They fear discrimination, hate, physical attacks, and being written out of existence by our transphobic president and politicians. They are goddamn good people who shouldn't have to worry about doing literally anything because someone may hate who they are.

I'm bisexual. I and everyone else in the LGBTQ community are faced with homophobia and hate. We're afraid for our lives, afraid to come out because sometimes we don't know if our own families would be okay with us. I'm blessed enough to have a Jewish family that is okay with LGBTQ, but others are not as fortunate.

I watch my classmates, my white, cisgender, straight classmates, move through life only worrying about college and work. They're not affected by the shit I deal with. They will never fully understand how it feels to live your life in fear of being hurt, attacked, or even killed for your identity.

Because even if they're allies, they may never truly understand.

So to all you Trump supporters and Republicans out there who claim to be afraid to express themselves? You have no idea what fear truly feels like.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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