I couldn't sleep last night and wept on and off for most of today as I considered the implications of last night's election. I hoped that voters in this country would chose love over hate, unity over division. I hoped they would choose inclusion rather than exclusion. I hoped they would vote to protect our environment, healthcare, families and children. I hoped they would choose the candidate who was experienced, knowledgeable, and prepared, I hoped, at the very least, voters would agree that the highest office in this country should be held by someone who could speak to people with respect. I had done what I felt I could do in this election. I volunteered and spoke up and spoke out. I wrote and had uncomfortable conversations. We donated money. I hoped because that's all that was left.
Choosing to believe that people are basically good does not make me ignorant. I am aware of history and understand systemic bigotry. I get that the deck is stacked. But choosing to believe in the good is the only way I know how to survive.
I have taken the high road for most of my life, especially since coming out in 1990. I've turned the other cheek when I've been called names. I've walked straight ahead without comment when I've been threatened. I have met gawking stares with kindness and tipped homophobic servers. I've stood tall in rooms where I felt unwelcome. I have been patient and compassionate while listening to people who claim to like me or love me tell me why they don't agree with my "lifestyle." I have endured the well-meaning jokes about LGBT people and built relationships despite them with the hope of change over time. Still, I believed the best in most people.
I wanted and needed Hillary Clinton to win. Many of those pushed into the margins did. Last night, as the results tilted towards Donald Trump, Zeca sat on my lap and said, "People may have different beliefs but there is still right and wrong." This is a powerful truth. Hating and demeaning those who are different from you is wrong. Voting for someone who does that is wrong too. My sadness is not just for my own community but for all communities who have been targeted.
Today, I took comfort in safe people and places and let myself grieve because I don't know what comes next.
Hillary closed out her concession speech today with this:
"My friends, let us have faith in each other. Let us not grow weary. Let us not lose heart. For there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do."
I know she's right and I've done my best to live those words in the past but I have worn ruts in the high road and I am weary.