When I woke up at 3:45 this morning to nurse Gus, I didn’t want to check the clock on my phone. I knew there would be a result, and I knew what it would be, and I didn’t want to see it because I had been so convinced that Hillary would win. But there it was – Trump wins – and I sat there in the dark and worried.
For half of the country, this is a win, a day to look ahead toward the vision of what they hope America can look like. And I get that.
For me, however, this loss is rooted in worry and fear. Are they coming for my marriage? Are they coming for Amanda’s right to call Gus her son? And is my wife, a military service member, about to be in even greater, possibly unnecessary danger?
And beyond my family, I fear for my LGBT brothers and sisters, for Muslims, for immigrants, for my African American and Latino friends. What will this new vision of America bring?
I hugged Gus to me extra long – there is comfort in his warm neck, in his strong little legs standing up on my thighs, looking me in the eye and grinning.
It has taken me all day to write this blog post because I’m not quick on the uptake. I need time to think, to form the words. What I can tell you is that I’ve gone through today feeling as if I were walking in the cold without a coat. Something broke in me, and it has been a journey to process it.
And here, at the end of the day, the best I can come to is this: I voted for Hillary Clinton because I believe she was the right candidate, but also because I believe in the values she espouses: strength together, decency, fairness, equality. I believe in helping people, and I believe in working hard to fight for what’s right. I’m not always great at expressing this, and I’m astonishingly lacking in bravery where these principles are concerned, but I found in Hillary my representative, the person I wanted to stand up for me in Washington.
Unfortunately, she won’t be my President.
But now, I must reckon with the other half of that relationship. I voted for her to represent me, and now, I can represent her. I can look for opportunities to be loving and uplifting. I can be brave enough to fight for what’s right, to help where I can – in my community, in my family, in my state, regardless of who voted for whom.
Today is hard. I, along with a great many others, am overwhelmed and processing a heavy burden, a loss we didn’t anticipate. But the truth is, just because Hillary lost the election doesn’t mean I stop believing in her message or her platform of the hope that we can continue to do good.