Like the rest of the country, I was looking forward to the media spectacle centered around the election to be over. I couldn’t wait to check my social media streams without hearing the latest racist, sexist, islamophobic, homophobic, xenophobic statement to come out of Donald Trump’s mouth. Attending a rally days before the election and having the honor of hearing our President speak live left me feeling excited for our future and inspired about what is to come.
So, you can imagine my horror when the results started to go downhill on election night. Before I went to bed, my brother, Ben called me. I told him I love him and I’m sorry that our country is making decisions that will most likely have a negative impact on our lives and may take away some of our freedoms. He told me that everything will be okay and we would get through it together.
I went to sleep at 1:30AM because I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. John held me tighter than usual as I drifted off. The next thing I knew, he was quietly saying goodbye to me and kissing me before heading off to work. When I heard the front door lock, I reached for my phone. I had never seen so many notifications in my life. Trump’s name was all over them. I put my phone back down, pulled my blanket over my face, and sobbed into it. The hateful words from his campaign rushed in and out of my mind as I cried loudly. My sadness and despair was incredibly intense yet short lived. All at once, my fear was replaced with determination, I jumped out of bed and got to work.
Many people have fought to get us to where we are right now. I’m sure they wish our progress was further along at this point and I don’t want their work to be done in vain. I refuse to give up my rights or sit by and watch while others have their rights stripped away from them.
Every day I set a goal of five actions that work towards making America a safer, happier, more equal and loving place. Here are my five goals for today as an example.
- Message three people who are in marginalized groups to let them know I care and I am here if they need me.
- Make lunch at home and donate lunch money to RAINN.
- Spend at least 30 minutes reading and learning about the best ways to get involved.
- Apply to volunteer for the local chapter of the ACLU.
- Sit down for a meeting with Keep Her Safe founder, Sheri Dixon, to find out how I can be more involved.
Get these phone numbers to everyone you know and love. You never know who may need them.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673
Trans Lifeline: (877) -565-8860
Trevor Project: (866)-488-7386
Donate what you can to these organizations. It doesn’t take much to make a difference.
Black Lives Matter www.blacklivesmatter.com
The Trevor Project www.thetrevorproject.org
Planned Parenthood www.plannedparenhood.org
Keep Her Safe www.keephersafe.org
Border Angels www.borderangels.org
The Young Center www.theyoungcenter.org
Going forward, we must remember that Hilary Clinton won the popular vote, which means more people in our county believe in equality and kindness than hate. We also must remind ourselves that we have the right to organize, protest, and fight for a better future. As Americans, we have the right (and responsibility, as far as I am concerned) to be involved in politics and voice our concerns and opinions. Together, we can make a difference.