Shit Sticks

It’s been a rough week.

You know what? Scratch that.

It’s been a horrible, gut-wrenching, make-me-question-the-moral-fabric-of-my-entire-country week. I’ve shed tears about the election, ranted about it, racked my brain trying to imagine what I, personally, can do to stand up against that asshole who somehow got elected, and even felt moments of deep and abiding fear.

People everywhere–on TV, in the newspaper, and at bars and coffees shops–will be talking about how Donald won for months. I know how he won. We all know.

The people of America were more comfortable with a self-disclosing abusive, racist, bigoted, disrespectful, elitist misogynist than they were with Hillary.

And yeah, she’s not perfect. That email thing was … ugh. Wrong. Stupid and unfortunate and wrong.

But, seriously?! She’s not running around grabbing people by the genitalia and then bragging about it.

She should have won, because the values for which she stands (in stark contrast to Trump’s) should have won.

But she didn’t win. Equality lost out to prejudice. Hate trumped love.

I’m sickened by it all.

And in the wake of it, after thinking about it for days, I want to say three things.

1. The peaceful transfer of power is important, but that doesn’t obligate us to pretending we have faith in Trump.

I’m fucking sick of people saying we need to give that bigot a chance. He’s had plenty of chances to denounce hate and discrimination. He passed on those chances, standing by his twisted world view, and he got elected president for it.

There is absolutely no need to give him a chance to prove us (and himself) wrong now.

No, we shouldn’t revolt. Violence is never an answer. Hillary was right to encourage “the peaceful transfer of power” (God, I’m sick of that phrase), as was Obama. But fucking hell, don’t be foolish enough to flippantly say things like, “He’s our president now. He deserves a chance to show us he can lead.”

Clearly, he can lead. That’s not in debate. I just don’t want to follow him where he’s going.

2. Trump isn’t likely to be our ally, or even neutral toward us, and his fans sure as hell aren’t aligned with our desire for equality.

He’s going to be our president. And that fucking sucks because he’s set himself and his supporters up to push back hard against so many who are fighting for equality.

This isn’t a time to be blithe. This is a time to be real.

The other day I heard someone from the LGBT community explain that they’d been interviewed just after the election and, in an effort to offer hope to others, tried to remain optimistic that Trump and his cohorts won’t be antagonistic. I just shook my head, trying to understand how false hope is going to solve a damn thing.

Don’t be gullible enough to think that a man who was elected on a platform of hate is going to suddenly turn to love, or even to reason. He won’t.

If you want to be hopeful, be hopeful that disenfranchised communities will band together and support one another. But don’t place your hope in Trump. Be wary of that man.

3. All is not lost, but it is time to fight. And fight hard.

And here’s why it’s so important that we recognize the threat Trump and his supporters represent. Because there’s a fight coming.

All kinds of laws that protect people and guarantee freedom and equality are about to come under fire. A bunch of racist dickheads just got a huge dose of validation and are already spreading their vile beliefs every chance they get.

This is not a time to go to ground. This is not a time to hide. This is not a time to pretend everything’s gonna be alright.

This is a time to STAND, and stand together.

To fight hate with love. To show our fellow Americans (even the bigoted ones) that we will not sink into the background again. To show the world that US voters may have elected Trump, but there are plenty of us in this country who do not share his warped values.

I have friends who are talking about just dropping all social media so they can insulate themselves from the nastiness. To them, I wanna say this: please don’t do that.

Don’t disconnect. I know it’s tempting. People are saying a lot of shit, and sad stories of discrimination are all over my Facebook feed, too. But please don’t go.

Stay and SPEAK. Speak out against the hate. Stand with the rest of us. Your voice is needed. All our voices are needed.

As a culture, we now find ourselves in a dark place. We who crave equality have only a tiny candle apiece. If we want to be a true source of light, we need to cluster, to bring all those little flickering flames TOGETHER.

Don’t blow yours out and hide in the shadows.

I hate what’s happened, but it can’t be undone. We’re in a mess. There’s nothing to do now but trudge through it, so let’s resolve to do that with dignity and unity.

In the words of MLK, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

I may not have anything by my own little candle, but I intend to march against the darkness.

Who’s with me?