Warning: this is a personal political post. If you’re tired of hearing about it, don’t bother reading this.
I’ve been avoiding writing a blog post for the last week or so. Many people have already written amazing articles about this, but it felt wrong not to say anything even if it’s a little late. When I was in my Spanish women writers class yesterday we spent a little time talking about the election and how it affected our personal lives. I figured instead of writing about the many issues with this election, I’d share a more personal side to the story.
If you’ve read any post I’ve made about being bisexual before, you’d know that I grew up in a very rural, conservative area. In short, I didn’t realize I was queer for a long time because it wasn’t accepted there. I watched my friends get bullied for being out. I was scared to even think about being queer. Now, thinking about going back there after this election scares me a little. These are people who don’t agree with my sexuality who now feel like they can share this hatred louder than before and who are probably armed.
Let me backtrack for a second before you get angry at me for generalizing. I’m sure everyone’s heard the argument: “but I voted for trump and I’m not racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.” I bet you’ve heard plenty of counter arguments to this too. I wish I had the words to express how I feel about this. I don’t think I’ve gotten it right, but I’m going to give it a shot. This isn’t about policies other candidates or whatever your reason is for voting for Trump. This is how a vote for Trump, a win for Trump, endangers lgbt+ members’ lives.
One of my favorite quotes is “If you are neutral in situations of oppression, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” I said before I’d keep this personal, so let’s talk about Mike Pence, one of the most anti lgbt+ politicians today. You may be okay with gay people, but you voted for a man who believes in conversion therapy (If you don’t know how awful this is, go research it). You voted for a man who is trying to pass a law that allows bosses to fire queer people from their jobs if their religion doesn’t believe in their “lifestyle.” I may not agree with people who don’t vaccinate their kids, but that doesn’t give me the right as a boss to fire them for the way they live their life. (This isn’t the best metaphor because being gay is not a choice and vaccinating your kids is, but I hope you get what I’m trying to say).
So maybe you aren’t homophobic, but you voted for a man who is. You didn’t stand up and say that it’s not okay to discriminate against people who are queer. If you say you aren’t homophobic and you aren’t holding Trump accountable for picking a VP like Pence, then you need to. You need to make sure that Pence’s proposal doesn’t get through congress. You need to read up on how awful Pence and his actions are and have been to the queer community. I don’t have the time or energy to talk about how much he scares me. That’s your responsibility now.
So, now let’s talk about why the results of this election scare me. Besides the obvious possibility of losing my legal rights, I’m more scared of individual people and their tendency towards hate and violence. I generalized the area I grew up in. And I’ll be honest, it’s not everyone I’m scared of. I know people, I have family, that voted for trump and would never harm me for being who I am. However, that’s not everyone. And while I feel personally a little hurt by my family voting for a man like Pence, I can’t focus on that, at least in this post.
In my university in the states, it’s hard to be a republican as a student right now and has been for a while. The voices of those who are tired of being mistreated are very loud. So for those who aren’t homophobic and maybe didn’t even vote for Trump and consider themselves republican, I can see how it’s hard to share your opinions on our campus.
It’s not you I’m scared of. It’s those few who turn to yik yak and post their racist thoughts and violent threats towards other students. They do so anonymously because like those who aren’t as extreme and hateful as they are, they’re scared to voice their opinion aloud because they know it won’t be allowed or accepted. They’ve alrady performed hate crimes on our campus towards our black student union.
I’m scared because I am loud about the awful experiences I’ve had as a queer woman on that campus. I work at the women’s resource center, a place some call the home of the crazy man-hating feminists. On such a small campus, if you put yourself out there like that, people know. Before this election, I was proud to be that open about who I was and what I had faced, standing up for what I believed was right. Now, this puts me and others like me at risk.
They know who I am, but I don’t know who they are.
The few who look at Trump as an inspiration and an allowance to get away with their hatred and violence. They were hidden before this election, but now, Trump winning gives them the validation that their behavior is okay.
My university already has harassment reports from students towards students of color, queer students, etc, since this election has ended. In less than a week, we already have a first student who is too scared to back onto campus because of the verbal harassment she experienced the day after the election walking out of her dorm.
So it’s not everyone I’m scared of. I may not agree with your views, but I’m not scared of you. I’m scared of the few. I’m scared of the people like that man who shot up a queer night club. I’m scared of the threats I see on anonymous outlets.
I still feel like I’m not getting across everything I want to, but for now this is the best I can do. There are so many other issues and minorities that I didn’t talk about. Please read what people in those communities are saying. Our voices deserved to be heard.
I am open to criticism or discussions about my views if they are respectful, as I am trying to be respectful to those who I am critiquing. We are not discussing any other candidates and their faults as this post is only about how the election results affected me personally.
Want to help queer people right now? Donate to the Trevor Project and other places that help queer people.
Edit: I read this article today and I think it relates to what I wrote about. Read it. However, the reason I’m adding this is because of people in the comments saying “But Trump is not anti lgbt.” I honestly wanted to throw something and cry at the same time. How can people still not understand that Pence is one of the most anti lgbt+ politicians and Trump CHOSE him as his VP.