Mine is but a small voice. A tiny voice. A voice that makes no difference in the world.
Still. I use it.
This week has been difficult. Heart-breaking. Possibly Earth-shattering. Though I do hope and pray that last bit won't be the case.
I watched Trump take the election on Tuesday night through a fog of narcotics. I'd had a small surgery Tuesday morning, and the pain pills kept my head spinning throughout the day. So, too, did the election results, as they continued to turn red.
I watched from the couch as Hillary's lead gained traction, but then slipped...slipped...slipped away, the first of many victims to the rush of the Trump Train.
Choo-choo. That's all I heard from certain Trump supporters throughout the prior three months. Choo-choo. Here comes the Trump Train.
I went to bed, then awoke around midnight to see that Trump had, indeed, taken Florida. Then Ohio. Then the entire Midwest.
And I saw the world change before my drug-addled eyes.
Since then, as I've worked hard to heal my body, it's felt as though everyone in the country has been working hard to open old wounds.
Hate crimes are on the rise. Swastikas are spray-painted on walls. The KKK has planned a march in North Carolina, a state adjacent to my adopted home. "Go back to <insert country of possible origin here>!" has been shouted from rooftops, to citizens of this country who were born here, raised here, and hoped to, someday, die here, in safety and security.
And the things that have been said to my brothers and sisters of the LGBTQ community? They're not even repeatable, so awful are they.
Anger. Venom. Vitriol. Both sides spewing red steam from any and all orifices.
The country I love seems to be slipping away, and while the "other side" encourages us to accept the results of this election (the majority, they say, has spoken...which is a lie, since Hillary won the popular vote...but whatever), I feel the need to...not slip silently into the dark night. I feel the need to fight.
This, I believe:
I believe in human rights and dignity for all. I believe it does not matter where you were born, nor the color of your skin. I believe that who you love, or how you interact with your gender identity, does not change your legal and ethical right to fair, honest, and loving treatment.
I believe my "liberalism" stems from social issues, not economic ones. I understand this means I'm a bit on the lucky side. But I've lived in a world that was paycheck-to-paycheck, and often worse than that. I've lived in a world full of debt. I understand, however, that poverty does not equal hopelessness, nor does it excuse you from treating others with decency, nor believing in fair play.
I believe Donald Trump's behavior towards women...his call for building a wall reminiscent of the one in Berlin...his spewing of common anti-Semitic tropes...his call for turning away refugees that need only a place to be safe...I believe all of this paints a picture of a man full of hate and bile and venom, and I am afraid of his vision for our country.
I believe, however, that he will tack center as he begins to govern (if he begins to govern), foregoing the most vile of his campaign promises, but I don't believe that'll be enough.
I believe, for the first time in my life, I have a major responsibility to work for a better endgame. I believe I must march when marching is required. I believe I must give freely of time and money and love. I believe that my voice matters in this tempestuous time. I believe that, if enough of us believe these things, tomorrow will be a better day.
I believe in the Safety Pin Project.
I believe in the Women's March on Washington.
I believe there is so much work to be done to keep our families safe.
I believe we are all up to the task.
I have to believe this. I cannot give up. Not today. Not ever.