Bear with me. Here’s my only political post for the year: To my friends who voted for Trump, I get it. Really, honestly I do. I’m all about change and flushing our stagnant government system. It needs it.
Unfortunately, and as I’m sure you know, many groups of Americans feel there are serious consequences for them with this particular president-elect and his vice president-elect. It’s easy to get caught up in our lives and our problems and not worry about the lives of people who don’t seem relatable to us. We are all guilty of this. I am guilty of this.
But I am from one of these concerned groups, and you know me. You might even like me. And I’m always impressed when people from my past who I’ve made the mistake of assuming they wouldn’t be accepting make even the simplest of gestures by “liking” a photo of my family on Facebook. It’s meaningful. You see that my family is just like yours or the other families in your life.
We have our ups and downs like you do and make tough choices so that we can give our kid the best life possible. My life with my family is more than what 14-year-old me could have ever hoped for and it’s amazing to feel supported. There is also security in knowing that we are married in the eyes of the law and that the government sees our kid’s adoption and our family as protected and legitimate.
But I suddenly don’t feel secure anymore. Vice president-elect Pence has an extensive anti-gay record from supporting gay conversion therapy on kids that literally includes trying to (but failing to) electro-shock the gay out, to signing legislation in his state in 2013 to jail any same-sex couple who attempted to get a marriage certificate. All of the progress that we have made that gives my family a sense of belonging and security is very likely to be erased.
But worse than that for me is this: I’ve always known that there are plenty of crazy people out there who would hurt me just for who I am, or hurt my family for who we are, but I have always felt this sense of protection, that there is this greater good around us, and a government that in the end would protect me even in the days when they didn’t agree with me.
But suddenly that is gone. I’m scared that there are people out there who feel empowered because our president-elect has not distanced himself from the KKK and other hate groups. Without condemnation comes permission, and I honestly don’t feel like government under this administration would do much to protect me. I’m scared for the future. I’m scared for me, I’m scared for my family, and more than anything I’m scared for my multiracial daughter who isn’t old enough yet to understand that people are out there who will hurt her or demean her simply for the color of her skin or because she is female.
I love my country and I want us all to come together and make the most of this new direction for our nation, but I’m counting on you when it gets rough. I want you to think about me and my family and how it affects other people like us when our rights and protections get taken away. And my real hope is that we can all think beyond the bubbles we live in and about every group in our country that is frightened, including so many who have so much more reason to be worried than I do.
People aren’t whining about losing; they are deeply mourning the loss of hope that they too can feel included and be happy in America, the land of the free.
Thanks for hearing me out.
Editor's note: Gay dads, please read After the Election: Where Do We Go From Here? to learn how you can help make a difference now!