November 09, 2016

You Can Stay with Me

I know a lot of you are angry today. If you’re like me, you’ve been alternating between tearful and terrified, looking for that one tiny thread of hope that can console you.

For many, that thread is anger. How could so many people be convinced so easily that their feelings are worth more than facts? How do we not scream at the third-party voters who allowed their principles to supersede their reality? How do I continue to live in a country that sees me as worth less—less than a man, less than my attacker, less than my own reproductive parts?

If have thought these things, you are lucky. You have the luxury of despair.

While your feelings are completely valid, many people are going to suffer in the next four years—and some much, much more than others. Our next president has risen to power on a tide of hate, and if history has taught us anything, it is that the people who are suffering the most are the first against the wall. You may be afraid for your future, others are in very real danger of losing their lives.

The thread of hope that I am clinging to today is not anger, nor fear. It is that feeling I felt after Obama was first elected into office, the potential to change things for the better, that feeling of love for my country and all the people who are living in it—whether they love me back or not. I will continue to help others even though it is not my job, to support the rights of all humans whether I directly benefit or not, to understand those who are different than me instead of dismissing or fearing them.

I extend this invitation to everyone: if the worst happens, if your world catches fire, you can stay with me. If you are thrown out of your home or lost your job because you are different, you can stay with me. If you need help, you can stay with me. If you voted for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, or even Donald Trump, you can stay with me. I will be the America that I believe in, and I know that I cannot do it without you. I need all of you to make it real.

And to the people who are going to be unable to lift their arms today, who fought so hard throughout the election, made it to the finish line, and still lost—I saved you a seat. I know it’s hard not to give up. So, go ahead. Give up. Take five minutes, take the whole morning—if you can, take the day. Tomorrow, we get up, because our work is not over. Our work has just begun.

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