Here’s a list of things that happened in November:
-Donald Trump was elected to be our next president. What the actual fuck, America?
-I had a dental deep cleaning the day after the election. They had TVs on the ceiling all conveniently tuned to CNN.
-I put purple “peekaboo highlights” in my hair, which is basically the messiest thing you could possibly do to your hair. That shit leaves purple residue on everything for like 2 weeks. I did it as a way to feel better after the election.
-A friend was in a very difficult situation that I won’t talk about here for the sake of her privacy, but it was incredibly stressful.
-I got sick and lost my voice. I haven’t 100% recovered from that.
-I was dog-sitting for a week, and after a few peaceful days, the dog started trapping one of the cats in the bedroom. He charged at her every time she wanted to come out. I had to carry my cat into the kitchen to eat. I was reminded why I don’t have a dog.
Okay, but seriously, let’s talk about the election. I went to bed crying and shaking that night while Harrison tried to comfort me. I flipped the TV off as our new orange tweeter-in-chief was about to give his victory speech. I couldn’t watch it. I barely slept that night, and I felt like I was on the verge of tears for the next several days. I hadn’t felt that kind of grief in a long time.
The night of the election, I was at a local gay bar watching the results come in, and as it appeared things were not going to go the way we all expected it to, the mood became heavy. The future was less certain suddenly. As we sat and watched and occasionally tried to distract ourselves with cigarettes and mixed drinks, a stranger walked up to me and asked if he could give me a hug. He told me that his girlfriend is a trans woman, and he was concerned for her safety. We both started to cry.
That interaction will stay with me forever.
Harrison said a few time in the days that followed that we might not be directly impacted day to day, but then I thought about some things. Will my birth control continue to be covered? I’ve already tried the IUD, and that is a no go for me. What about how I pay my student loans? That could change. My healthcare could start costing more because I have a vagina, so that’s a fun thing to potentially look forward to. Yeah, Obamacare fixed that shit.
And it’s not just about me, obviously. Unfortunately, the stranger who was afraid for his trans girlfriend’s safety had a reason to be. About a week after the election, a trans woman in my neighborhood in Denver woke up to see that her car had been vandalized. I live in the Capitol Hill Neighborhood in Denver. If there’s a “gayborhood” in Denver, this is it, so I was livid when I heard about this. You don’t mess with the LGBT community in this neighborhood. You just don’t.
The problem isn’t with any policies…yet. The problem is that people who hate so ferociously now think they can do so freely and openly. And that damage is already done.
I’m not here to spend all of my time talking about all the things I’m afraid of. I spent a lot of time trying to find the place where I feel powerful, and that is really hard when a man who thinks that all women can afford contraception is about the run the Department of Health and Human Services, and a man who was previously denied a position because he’s too fucking racist could be attorney general.
What can we do to take back our power?
We can put our money where our mouths are. Donate. Donate to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the NRDC, The Trevor Project, or any of the numerous organizations who will stand up for the marginalized. Hey Colorado! Colorado Gives Day is next week, so there’s your chance!
Stand up for people and stand up for yourself. Call people on their bullshit. You do not have to allow hateful language in your space.
March. Protest. Peacefully, of course. It’s your right, and they need to know we are still here.
Listen. Have empathy. Try to understand where other people are coming from. You don’t have to agree, and to reference my previous point, that doesn’t mean not calling people on their bullshit if they a spewing nothing but.
VOTE IN THE MIDTERMS, DAMNIT!
Live loudly. Live proudly.
But mostly, BRING ON DECEMBER because November fucking blew. Enjoy this last full month of the Obamas before we have an actual trash bag for President.
Oh.. and it’s my birthday soon. Muthafuckin 30! Here I come 30s! Maybe my 30s will help me get my shit together a little better than I am currently managing.