I sat in a bar last night, and watched as hate won.
I watched as a racist, bigoted man accused of sexual assault beat a highly qualified woman for the highest office in this country, for reasons I still don’t truly understand.
I listened as the bar got quieter, and quieter, as we realized a victory for Hilary was slipping further and further away.
I left before they called it – couldn’t stand it anymore – went home and curled up in bed with my laptop to wait for the final results.
And my dominant emotions in that moment? Anger. And fear.
I am angry at a country that is so terrified of electing a woman president that they’d rather elect a rapist. And I’m scared of what that means for women, fighting to be in control of their own bodies and their own destinies.
I am angry that this man who has consistently, and with great vitriol, demeaned and made fun of minorities, is now the policy setter for the supposedly free world. And I’m afraid of what will happen to my friends of color, my LGBTQ+ friends, anyone I know who is somehow different, or other.
I’m scared of the violence that could erupt, that has already erupted.
And I am terrified we as a people have ventured down a dangerous path, with no real escape.
I am anxious, and disheartened, and worried, and sick, for these and so many other reasons. But I’ve also decided something. Whatever happens, however large or small, I refuse to let fear paralyze me. I refuse to give in to the hate. Instead, I’m going to let it drive me to action. My friends, and I, and others like us have fought so hard for an end to racism and misogyny. That fight just got harder. But I’ll keep struggling. For my sister, and my friends, and all the women who want to see a glass ceiling shatter. For every member of a minority group at whom our new leader has spewed hate. For everyone who put their head in their hands last night in disbelief. For my someday children, who I want to raise in a world not like this. No matter what, I refuse to watch the strides made in equality over the last few years slip away.
I am afraid. But I will not let that stop me.