I’ve done my best to stay off the internet and keep my opinions to myself after the election. Every time I open Facebook, I see posts from Hillary supporters calling Trump supporters hateful and saying to unfriend them. And then I scroll down and I see Trump supporters telling Hillary supporters to suck it up and stop being sore losers. Perhaps, this is because I’m so young and inexperienced, but I can honestly say that I’ve never seen my country so divided. And I’ve never seen so much hate and anger and fear, especially among the people in my generation.

My hope is that I’ve found a middle ground amidst all the strife and anger. I never supported Trump or Hillary and I think I would have been unhappy regardless of the election results. But now with all the hatred going around, I think the safest way for me to express my opinions is through the safety pin.

Some people wear the safety pin as a direct protest to Trump and his presidency. Some wear them as a way to show solidarity with the minorities who feel threatened by Trump. And some wear them just to show that they are a safe person to talk to about the election. That’s what my friend told me when I asked her about her safety pin and that’s why I wear one now.

I will not protest Trump until he gives me a concrete reason to. I admit that I don’t trust him, especially after all of the things he’s said during his campaign. But he has won the presidency and I will support him as our president until he gives me a reason not to. I will keep an open mind and pray for our new president over the next four years. So no, I’m not wearing the safety pin to protest Trump.

I wear the safety pin to show love and kindness to all people. I wear the safety pin as a way to say that I will love you regardless of skin color, religious beliefs, sexuality, gender, and political leanings. I will not call you hateful if you voted for Trump, as I have seen many people do over the past several days. But I also won’t call you crooked if you voted for Hillary. I will listen to you with an open mind and I will hear your opinions on the election whether they be positive or negative. That doesn’t mean I’ll automatically agree with you. I can love you and still disagree with you. But I will not call you names and I will not express hatred towards you.

I know that love doesn’t fix everything and I’m not trying to tell you that it will. But hatred will tear us apart. I know I can’t do anything to change the election results. If I could, I would have gone back six months and changed everything when campaigns were just getting started. But Trump will be our president come January 20th and we owe him our support and prayers. But we owe the same support and prayers to our fellow Americans regardless of skin color, religious beliefs, sexuality, gender, and political leanings. If we live as a divided nation, if we spend all our time and energy calling each other out, we will not be able to stand strong when the times require us to.