I don’t have to be okay with this, but I still have hope.

A few days after the 2008 election, I got a tattoo. The tattoo says, “There has never been anything false about hope,” and it’s followed by Barack Obama’s signature. The quote is from a speech he gave after losing the New Hampshire Primary to Hillary Clinton. For the record, I have tremendous respect for Hillary Clinton, and I did then as well. I never understood the vicious contempt for her. But Obama was my guy starting in 2004 when he spoke at the DNC.

I don’t know how many people told me I would regret my tattoo. I don’t. In fact, it’s my favorite of the four tattoos I have.

I am not okay with what’s about to happen tomorrow. I was upset and frustrated in 2004 when Kerry lost to Bush, but I was not afraid that we’d be blown to smithereens because the president pissed someone off via Twitter. Seriously, can someone make him stop with that crap? It’s embarrassing, and it’s dangerous. And that is only one tiny slice of what I’m afraid of.

I’m afraid for our public schools and teachers.

I’m afraid for minorities and immigrants.

I’m afraid that women who are victims of sex assault will be even less likely to come forward because there’s a perpetrator in the White House.

I’m afraid that my LGBT friends will lose some of the protections they’ve acquired under the Obama Administration.

I’m afraid I’ll lose my free and easy access to contraception along with millions of other women.

I’m afraid these same women will lose access to abortion.

I’m afraid for the environment—that the regulations that have helped us make progress on climate change will be rolled back.

I’m afraid I’ll lose my income-based student loan repayments.

I’m not afraid or sensitive to these issues because I’m a liberal snowflake. That’s a stupid term, and considering how hurt some of my more conservative friends were when Meryl Streep proclaimed that football and MMA are not the arts, I think the “snowflake” term might be inappropriately placed.

I’m afraid because I believe in empathy and humanity and that America is losing these. Boots in asses is not the American way no matter how much Toby Keith insists. That’s the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard. And of course that guy was one of the only people who agreed to play the inauguration. Of course he was. In today’s ‘no shit’ news, Toby Keith is playing Trump’s inauguration. Oh and also Lee Greenwood. Duh.

We have fear for a reason. Fear ignites action. So don’t think for one second that I will not be here for the next 4 years calling out hypocrisy and hate and transforming this fear into action. I will be here because I still have hope, and I have a reminder of that etched into my skin.

Thank you President Obama.

I feel ya, girl. (I have no idea where this came from, but it’s perfect. Thanks to whoever the artist is.)

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