I have never been so dismayed in my life about something, and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I’ve had some pretty wonky things thrown my way over the years. But this presidential election, insane as it's been for months, took a turn that I honestly didn't see coming. And I'm feeling very down as a result.
Let’s rewind to a few days before the election. My former boss, who has been living out of the country for the last several years, came back to the U.S. for a visit. First thing he and his longtime partner did? This:
That’s right, they got married. Legally. In the state where they first met. I was so happy for them! I'm thrilled that they could finally do this, that marriage equality was truly real for this committed, loving couple.
Then, on Election Day, I saw news pictures showing women lining up at Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite, to leave their “I Voted” stickers on her headstone. The enormity of this day had already been on my mind, as I’d early voted, and had posted this on my Facebook timeline:
…about as political as I get on social media.
Our country, backward as it has been, was moving in the right direction, where everyone has the equal right to be married, and where it was possible to have a woman as our president. I was so proud of our progress…finally, FINALLY, things that shouldn’t have been an issue were being laid to rest.
On election night, I waited for the polls to close on the east coast and turned on the news, eagerly anticipating the moment when we would have our first woman president. But within a short time, the unthinkable was happening. I couldn’t stand it after a couple of hours and switched the channel to soothing HGTV, where I watched House Hunters and hoped for a miracle. It got worse, and I went to bed, hoping that a recount would be necessary and that this nightmare would be just that – a nightmare. But no.
I’ve been unsettled ever since. I’m worried. During his campaign, our president-elect said a lot of horrible things and emboldened the masses to parrot him and act out toward our fellow human beings. I'm worried that the strides we've made will be negated. I'm worried for my transgender daughter, who just a couple of days after the election, was told by her Trump-supporting boss that she was emasculating a coworker by being better at her job than he was at his. Now, her boss does not know that she's transgender - he just sees Allie as a woman, and obviously that's bad enough in his eyes...imagine if he knew the rest of the story. He'd never said something quite so sexist until after the election; has he become one of the emboldened?
Despite my worry, I will say that I've been amazed by people coming together after the election. From the Pantsuit Nation Facebook pages, I've read stories of hope. From Ravelry, designers are offering up patterns for free, in a stress relieving act of generosity and kindness. People are wearing safety pins to show those who feel they are in danger because of their race, religion, gender, or sexuality are safe with them. In more ways than I can count, there IS good in our nation. I suspect we need to be a lot stronger in showing it, now more than ever.
Thank you for reading this. I do feel a bit better for having written out my thoughts...still have that darn headache, though.