By Chris Heide
And so it begins…
Today, for the first time in my adult life, I am viscerally scared for what my future holds. Scared for my safety as a member of the LGBTQ community and fearful for the direction of my country. Anxious at the prospect of becoming a second class citizen once again.
Donald Trump is our next President. Let that sink in for a moment. We elected a racist, sexist, homophobic man to be our President. I am angry and I have every right to be.
If you are not scared of Trump, then you are privileged enough to be so! He spent the entirely of his campaign talking about breaking up families, touching women however we wants and disregarding gay rights. If that alone doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable, then that is a problem. Privilege is when you think something is not a problem because it is not a problem to you personally. The results of this election will have catastrophic events for so many Americans.
There is something you need to understand about people of color, women, LGBTQ people, Muslims and all other marginalized groups. We are legitimately afraid. We are not upset because our candidate didn’t win. We are terrified because our country and our lives no longer feel safe. When half the country votes for a man who openly wants to strip us of our rights, it’s downright terrifying.
The outcome of this election has solidified the belief that LGBTQ people are second class citizens. That women have a right to be touched without consent. That your protest vote is more important that my rights. That is privilege and its nauseating.
If you are angry or afraid, let it fuel you. Allow yourself to become an agent of hope, education and change. Don’t let anyone tell you your pain is not real or that your reactions are too dramatic.
To women, I hear you.
To my LGBT community, I hear you.
To Muslims, I hear you.
To any other marginalized groups, I hear you.
Continue to fight. Continue to be vocal. Continue to fight for change. As Hillary Clinton said in her concession speech, “Never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it”. Today marks a critical moment in our nation’s history. We are broken and polarized. We have to make sure our voices are heard going forward. Hopefully, we can all make an effort to understand the differeing beliefs in this country with open hearts, clear eyes and full hearts.