These last few weeks have been turbulent. I went to sleep on election day thinking I would wake to a repeat of 2016. Then I woke up at midnight. 2 AM. 4 AM. 5:30 AM. Nothing was called. What a long week. Waiting to catch COVID. Waiting to see who would be elected President. Never giving up hope on PA and GA.
In that time I saw my small little Republican heavy town voted for Trump by about 100 votes. They did a recount. I found out today my town voted for Biden by 33 votes. 33. Our population is about 7,000. Roughly 5,000 people voted. If my town can go blue it’s possible anywhere.
I cried most of the day Saturday after it was called. Sunday I scrolled through social media and cried seeing the posts about Kamala and the projected appointees to their cabinet. They are Black. Women. Thank God.
I spoke to some one today at work who fears a Biden presidency. I don’t get it. I tried to. But I don’t. I have lived in fear for the past four years. I feel a weight lifted. I’ve been seeing Biden’s appointees for the COVID task force and there are scientists.
Not family members.
Scientists. Not family members.
Scientists on a pandemic task force should not be a novelty. It should be the expectation.
Black women in a cabinet should not be a novelty. It should be an expectation.
I don’t believe there was voter fraud. I believe in our democracy.
I told some one recently I never ended a friendship or relationship because some one voted for Bush. I never felt unsafe around a Republican until this administration. The hate and the lies are overwhelming. I’m not ready to mend those relationships that I have lost. But I’m glad we have elected a President who is a better than I am.
Some one told me we should be grateful for #45. I am grateful. I am grateful to have the most caustic homophobic and transphobic administration come to power in a time when I had the ability to do something to create change. Without #45 I would never have opened my own practice. I would never have decorated my business website in rainbows. I would never have discharged clients for being overtly racist. I would never have started this blog. I would never have taken a stand for what is right.
I am grateful for #45 because his administration showed me how much hatred and discrimination still exists in our country. He made me examine my whiteness in ways I never have before. He made me have hard talks with myself and with my friends and family members. He made me understand white supremacy in ways I never could before. He made me research, read, learn, and grow in ways I never would have been challenged to under a Democratic Presidency.
Could I have done without him? Sure. But the silver lining of his presidency has been the activism, education, and awareness that erupted in response to him.
Except in Florida apparently. Seriously. Parkland and Pulse…you all seriously couldn’t turn blue after being the site of two mass murders??? The work is not done.
But as I scrolled social media and saw all the pictures of all the children of all my friends watching Biden and Kamala’s speeches on Saturday I thought yes. For the first time in four years there are people we can allow our children to watch because they speak with respect and unity.
I am grateful to #45 for showing me exactly the man I don’t want my son’s to become.
I am grateful to see my niece’s face as she watched Kamala’s speech and think that she will grow up in a world where women can Become.
Mostly I am grateful because while I have seen true hatred in the last four years and pure prejudice I have also seen true bravery. True courage. I am grateful because I have the privilege of attending to the mental health of the Queer community in a time when they are most vulnerable.
In the face of hatred and murder transgender individuals still went forward with transitioning. I have seen Queer people come out to their Trump loving family members. They were terrified but they did it anyway because it was more important that they Become who they needed to be than to give in to the fear of hate. I am grateful to bear witness to some of the most courageous quietly stalwart individuals as they took stands for who they are and who they would be.
#45 I am grateful for your hate because it showed me the bravest most loving souls.
#45 I am grateful for your lies because out of them came monumental truths for so many in my life personally and professionally.
#45 I am grateful for your chatter because out of the chatter came a silent majority.
#45 I am grateful for your division because out of it I was able to feel total unity with my Queer community.
#45 I am grateful for your racism because it revealed to me my own engagement with a white supremacist system and allowed me to start taking steps to dismantle it.
#45 I am grateful to all the family members and friends of the 200,000+ lives lost to this pandemic for calling you out. I am grateful for this disease because it showed the lengths you would go, the lives you would sacrifice, to cling to your backward belief system where you come first and the lives of “your” people are disposable.
#45 on a personal note, I’m grateful to your homophobia for showing me the people in my life who understood, without me saying a word, that the Queer community needed allies and that I specifically needed allies. I am grateful for all my friends and family members who not only flipped you the bird in order to stand by my side, but also stood up to their own family members and friends for minorities. If ever I had doubts of how well supported I was the last four years have shown me I am not alone. For that I am eternally humbled and grateful.