This week has been a lot. I don’t need to recap it for you, we all know what happened. Instead, I’ll give you a walk through of the past 48 hours.
I woke up, I put on my equivalent of a pantsuit (dark jeans and blazer) and I voted. I voted blue across the board, which doesn’t actually say a lot when there are no non-Democratic candidates in Boston. I went to class, I relaxed and moved through my day because I thought we had it in the bag. I went to the liquor store to buy some rosé and champagne, because I expected I would be popping them early in the morning when CNN called the election for Clinton. I thought we had it in the bag.
I went to dinner with my girlfriend, where we continued debating the merits of Sanders versus Clinton because we still disagree on who would be a better president. It didn’t cross our minds that this might not go our way until we were home, flipping between channels to watch the returns.
It wasn’t until Clinton plateaued that we began to worry. My mom called me. Trump was gaining. My mom conferenced my sister in from North Carolina. Clinton needed a miracle. Molly held me as I stared at the TV in disbelief. We had this in the bag, didn’t we?
As the results would show, no, we didn’t. We never did. The Billy Bush tapes weren’t enough, an endorsement from a former KKK leader wasn’t enough, and the lack of policy wasn’t enough. It’s unclear what would have been enough to stop Trump.
Going to the rally last night in the Boston Commons helped. It helped to be surrounded by people who believe that Black lives matter, it helped to chant “trans lives matter”, it helped to be surrounded by so many people that no one would notice the tears on my face or the cracks in my voice. Because I am afraid. I’m scared because my best friend is a Chinese-American woman in rural Illinois. I’m scared because my sister is an Asian-American woman in North Carolina and her husband is a Latino immigrant. I’m scared because while my girlfriend is White-passing, she has a Persian last name and the Iranian half of her family have beautiful first and last names that speak to their heritage.
Our fear is palpable, and not for no reason. People have started to compile lists of racist, Islamophobic, and homophobic attacks. Sean O’Kane has one titled Day 1 in Trump’s America and Quartz has one as well. It is hard to live in a country where people actively remind you that they do not want you to exist. It is exhausting and scary and hard. But the sun still rises.
This is my family, below, circa 2006. We are beautiful and flawed and diverse. Some see that as a bad thing. But I know that families like mine are evidence that we truly are stronger together. Maybe one day, Trump supporters can see that too.