Wednesday, November 9, 2016

We're Gonna Need More Tequila

I'm shaking. I'm actually shaking.

This feels like a bad dream.

Listen. We all know (or you should know by now) that I am a crazy liberal feminist. Of course HRC had my vote. I had a feeling of dread all day yesterday that maybe, somehow, fear would win.

What do I mean by that?

Well, Trump ran on a platform of fear: fear of what would happen if Hillary won the presidency; fear of immigrants coming into our country and taking our jobs; fear of a loss of religious (read: Christian) freedom; fear that somehow our country has stopped being "great." And it worked.

People are afraid. I was not. But I am now.

I don't think people fully understand WHY we 'liberals' are so upset. This is not whining. This is not "boo hoo our candidate didn't win." This is actual, abject terror that we are experiencing for ourselves and our loved ones.

I'm terrified for the rights of my LGBT+ friends, and myself in that category. I'm a queer woman; what happens if, three years from now, I fall in love with and want to marry a woman? Not happening. It's also not exactly in my plan and I'm very happy with my boyfriend, but still, just thinking this made me burst into tears and fall on my kitchen floor crying this evening. I cried for my queer and gay friends who are married or in serious relationships, who now may have their marriages repealed or won't be able to marry while Trump is in office. I cried for my Trans friends who will have their genitals watched and regulated and told where they can go to the bathroom based on part of their anatomy.

I'm terrified for my friends who can possibly get pregnant. Birth control access is going to be severely restricted, and I can guarantee they will at least attempt (probably successfully) to outlaw abortion entirely. The right to reproductive choice and freedom is damn important to me, and they want to get rid of it. One of my lesbian friends even said today she's going to buy some Plan B in case she is raped because who knows if they'll still have Plan B on the shelves in a few months? That whole idea is fucked up on many levels, but I totally don't blame her and might buy some myself, just in case.

And they're definitely going to defund Planned Parenthood, which is a medical necessity for so many women and men and children in this country. I went to Planned Parenthood all throughout college. They helped refer me when I found a lump in my breast; they tested me after I was sexually assaulted; they were my regular gynecological provider for a good eight years. I've never had an abortion, in large part due to the fact that I could freely access birth control and could get in to a doctor who would answer all my questions honestly. You can kiss that goodbye.

I'm terrified at the likely repealing of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, leaving millions without health insurance. Those women who go to Planned Parenthood and now can't go there and also can't afford insurance? Their lives will literally be in jeopardy because of this. In fact, tons of women now are deciding to just make a gigantic decision to get IUDs while they can, because they're that afraid of what might happen in a few short months.

What happens to my Trans friends if they can't get the medicine or surgery they require just to be alive and living their authentic selves? What about their basic need to just survive as themselves? How the fuck can we take that away?

I was sexually assaulted shortly before I moved to California, and not by a stranger. Because of volunteering and acting in The Vagina Monologues so many times, I know that most of my friends have also been assaulted or raped. To have a President Elect who has not only bragged about grabbing women by the pussy because he can, but who has had multiple rape and sexual abuse allegations launched against him makes me physically ill. We are legitimately protecting and keeping rape culture alive by saying it's okay to elect this man as president. Imagine if Obama or Bush had had that many claims launched against them; would they still have won? No fucking way.

I have non-Caucasian, non-American-citizen friends. I have non-Christian friends. Trump and his supporters have made it abundantly clear how they feel about immigrants (both legal and illegal), and non-Christians, specifically Muslims, and having them all deported because...they're afraid. Build a wall because every Mexican is bad and came here illegally, right?

There is so much more to unpack here. The Republicans now control the House, the Senate, and the White House. Hillary won the popular vote, and I don't believe that half the country is actually as xenophobic, sexist, racist, etc. as Trump and his platform. But the fact remains that, in spite of all those shortcomings and the fact he was endorsed by the fucking KKK, half the country DID elect him. That is terrifying.

We are not whining. We are not bitter. We are angry and afraid. We are afraid that the rights of us and our loved ones, basic human rights (to marry, whether or not to have children, access to medical care, just not being shot for the color of their skin) will be repealed in the next six months, because that's what Trump promised.

I sincerely do not believe that half the country agrees with all these things, but I know a lot do, even partially. I know a lot just wanted to shake up the system, and on a basic level, I understand that. I'm not coming (entirely) from a place of anger, even though I am actually angry that we as a country have sunk to this level, and I know a lot of people on both sides of the aisle who share this anger.

I'm disappointed. I'm heartbroken. I'm worried. I'm livid. But mostly, I am seriously terrified.

I'm lucky because I now have a big girl job and health insurance, but I didn't when I first moved out here, and a lot of people still don't, or only have insurance because of the ACA. We are dooming millions of people because of this.

Yesterday the DOW was lower than it was on 9/11, because the entire world freaked out at the possibility of a Trump presidency, which could spell an epic economic collapse in the next few months, and that alone should make you afraid. (It has since recovered, but that still does not bode well for the future.)

I've never been afraid of people just because they're different than me, so I don't understand the fear that Trump promoted. To me, it just never made sense. Why fear the differences; why not celebrate and accept and be equal? We're all human beings. But that's not the path we have been on for a while, and the divisions in our country have been apparent and growing for years now. Yet this still hurts. It's still horrifying for us who never believed this could actually happen, not now when we have progressed so far.

Because I am white and pass for heterosexual to the average person, I am incredibly privileged, and I know that. I am lucky as fuck, but I am scared for all the people I know who are not this lucky. I have very few straight white male friends, so most of the people I know fall into these 'Other' categories that Trump has deemed "bad hombres" or "nasty women." And this is just the tip of the Trump iceberg we, the American Titanic, have struck upon.

So what do we do? I know a lot of people right now are grieving and processing and trying to just understand what the fuck happened. Take a day or two, let this sink in. It is a lot to absorb and understand; it's more than just "Hooray Trump won!" or "Fuck, Trump won!" We obviously need an overhaul of our political systems and voting processes because they failed us all, on multiple levels, many times in the past year and a half.

And after we have processed, we rise. We get queerer, louder, more obnoxious. We continue to educate ourselves and others as much as humanly possible. We let people know we aren't going to just let Trump and Pence and the rest of the Republicans strip away our rights. We fight, not with violence, but with love. It's like Voldemort and the Death Eaters vs. The Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore's Army: we have to use what we are good at and what we have on our side, which isn't fear. You can't fight a fire with fire. We have to rise and continue to rise above it, as fucking hard as that is, to show our love and our strength and keep on that high road. Even if we lose, we can say we didn't just accept it. We got weirder, we became more loving, we protested and tried like hell. We can't hide or sit placidly by. We need a revolution AND a revelation. We need action.

But if, after all this, you still think Trump was the right decision, please talk to me in a year. If, at that point, you STILL STILL think Trump was the right decision, you can fuck a duck and die. (I told you I am angry.)


For all my nerdy David Foster Wallace fans: we are officially living in Infinite Jest. President Johnny Gentle, Famous Crooner = President Donald Trump, Famous Asshole. Pretty soon time will be subsidized (Year of the Trump Steak; Year of Trump College That Uses The Best Words, Only The Best Words; Year of the Trump Hotel Greatest Happy Hour), and the Great Concavity/Convexity is pretty much already full of human waste so we can just pack it in with real garbage too, and ONAN will form and we can continue our quest for Entertainment w/o/r/t actual facts or knowledge. Who wants to form a wheelchair gang; or, more likely, wants to join my pack of roving Militant Grammarians?

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