Most of us watched in horror on election day as state after state fell to Donald Trump. I got that sinking feeling in my stomach that feels like a rock suddenly materialized in the bottom of my gut and began weighing me down.
After a sleepless night, I had to return to work in the morning and I felt exhausted. My first customer had been crying and just wanted to have a burger and a shirley temple and feel heard. I listened as I could and patted her shoulder. I wanted to offer her words of comfort and hope. I drew on my old readings from buddhism: “the truth is usually somewhere in the middle,” I told her. While things are not great, we are not without hope and certainly not without a task.
Over the past week, I’ve seen autopsy after autopsy of the election. Think-pieces blaming third parties, black and latino voters, the FBI, white women and white supremacists have all been written as the reason Hillary Clinton lost. People are mad and they need someone to blame.
Again, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Lots of factors all came together in the right places to elect a man who was endorsed by, and in return emboldened, racists.
Now the question seems to be “What do we do now?”
There are no easy answers and no magic bullet that will solve everything. We must continue to speak up for those who are different. Those of us who are white, cisgender, and queer must speak up for the other letters in our acronym. It’s time for us to learn what intersectionality is. Those that persecute muslims will come for queers as well. Those that come for our trans siblings will come for the cisgender queers as well.
You’ll hear platitudes about how we must stand together against hate or how we must speak up against injustice.
We’ve past the point of talking and we’ve arrived at a time of action.
Start showing up.
Show up at city council meetings and school board meetings. There will be protests by various communities at different times, show up and participate.
Call your representatives. Make them know your name.
We have two years to go before we can take both the house and senate away from Donald Trump. Get involved with your local Democrats. Help them identify and prepare challengers to those who are working with the administration.
Vote in local elections.
Install fair minded community leaders who will stand up to bigotry and racism. We can build a government from the local level up that will respect the rights of citizens.
Remember, we are not without hope but a great task is set before us.
I know this is just a start, and I (and others, hopefully) will be posting helpful articles on this site and others. I let this whole site go defunct and now I can think of no better time to use my Queer Voice. I hope you will too.