Tuesday evening, I was in a gay bar for trivia night. My trivia teammate was staring at what I had ordered in astonishment. “Wow, that is…that is a really big dirty martini,” he said. “I never see you drink. That, and chocolate cake?”
“We’re so fucked,” I said grimly, and I shoved a large bite of cake into my mouth, chased by Ketel One and vermouth.
It wasn’t even 8 PM. We were already getting returns and they were already looking really, really bad. I kept looking at the television and having flashbacks to 2000.
I ate the entire giant slab of cake, and I drank my entire martini, and I cried all the way home.
Wednesday, I worked from home specifically so I could wake up late and go to bed early. Thursday, I went into the office, but I came straight home, ate dinner, and went to bed.
Friday, I didn’t even really get out of bed unless it was to get food.
Saturday, I finally rolled out of bed and went running for the first time since my sadly optimistic Tuesday morning. My triumph at officially making it halfway through Couch to 5K was tempered by the news channels on the overhead televisions continuing to discuss that travesty of an election. I went home and ate cookies.
And that brings us to now.
So as a queer white woman, I voted for Hillary Clinton. Of course I did. I voted for a smart woman with clear plans to actually help my country and my fellow citizens. I did not vote for The New Hitler, because I paid attention in history class and concluded that voting for him would be a bad thing. I continue to maintain that I am correct; unfortunately, an alarming number of my relatives and acquaintances somehow, amazingly, made their incredible horrific peace with child rape, the electrocution of LGBTQ+ teenagers, racism, xenophobia, and complete and utter idiocy and decided that New Hitler was A-OK.
So, yeah! Yeah, I slept through so very much of this week. Also I deleted the Facebook app from my phone, because all it was doing was making me want to punch so many people. And I ate my weight in Totino’s Party Pizzas because oh my fuck what is the goddamn point of anything.
I have to go home for Christmas and stay with people who actively voted against my safety! I feel so good about this.
My optimism feels like it has been roundly kicked in the balls, pumpkins. I allowed myself to believe that we were progressing forward faster than the dipshit bigots could keep up with. I wanted to think that everyone I knew was smart and humane and actually understood the definition and tenets of the Christianity they claimed to practice. But guess what? They don’t! Oh, god, do they ever not. And I am more horrified than I thought I would be at this.
It laid me out. I mean, first I screamed on Facebook, I screamed and tried to shove facts in people’s faces, but wow, they did not care. Which was really just even more horrifying. I truly do not understand how a mother whose daughter was sexually assaulted can vote for a man accused of child rape. I do not understand how another mother of my acquaintance with a mixed-race daughter can be not only okay with racism, but actually come into my comments and go, “But, Benghazi!”
Like seriously? Yeah, that one got unfriended with a quickness.
I just straight up unfollowed and unfriended so many people who have made truly horrifying life choices. I know you’re not supposed to lock yourself into an echo chamber, but what the actual fuck, people. If they won’t listen to reason and in fact are actually happy with life choices that will get other people killed, I am at a loss, and I get so angry that I am seriously unproductive.
I just…fucking hell, you guys.
And I know, I am another of those naive white idiots who didn’t quiiiiiiiite see this coming. I am terribly sorry, not that this is worth a plugged nickel.
So. Now what?
Now I set up donations to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood on a monthly basis. Now I go home for Christmas and make things very difficult because I am not going to be quietly obedient any longer. And that’s just the least of things I can do, I am actively looking into more.
But I also bought pepper spray and a Kubotan for my key ring because I just don’t feel as safe as I did. Safer than others, I have that privilege, but still…not as safe as I used to feel.
If you voted for that man? Some tips:
Don’t ask us to reach across and understand you. Our candidate was not the one saying they’d build a wall, that they would deport people. Our candidate’s VP pick was not the one who endorsed the electrocution of gay children. Our candidate is not the one who wants to remove healthcare for millions of Americans with no firm replacement plan in place.
Your fellow supporters are running around telling children that they’re going to be taken away in the night. Your fellow supporters are the ones ripping headcoverings off of devoutly religious women. Your fellow supporters are the ones painting swastikas on public businesses.
“But I don’t support that!” you might say. Well, silence is support. If you don’t speak up to condemn this stuff, you tacitly do in fact endorse it. Is that uncomfortable? Good. You and I have something in common, because I am having to face the hard truth that I did not do enough, and I don’t like it, but I am sure as hell going to do something about it, and you’d better do something, too.
So much of America is at this moment wants Clinton supporters to stop being angry and terrified and just accept the hand we’ve been dealt. “If you tried to understand us…” Uh. No. No, no, and also hell fucking no, it is not up to us. You traded us in for…what? Seriously, for what, I have no idea what you thought was better than safety and kindness and a brighter world. Whatever it was, you have tied us to the train tracks and are standing aside while the train bears down and saying you have no idea why we’re screaming, it’s just rope.
It’s not up to us to understand or bridge the gap.
Anyway, so, I’m just getting angry again and I don’t keep the makings for dirty martinis in my house, so I am going to go work on my book a little, and maybe tomorrow I will go to church for a little bit of light and peace in this world that at this moment seems so, so very dark.