I can’t stop crying.
I can’t stop the overwhelming fear and anxiety that is building up in me.
In a world where when I went to bed last night at 10 PM, we were the leaders of the free world. When I woke up at 2 AM, who knows what we are now? All I know is that Donald Trump is our next president.
And I saw that, and the tears started to flow.
Apparently, I, me, Caitlyn, am everything you hate about America.
I am a woman.
I am disabled.
I benefit from the Affordable Care Act.
I am in a relationship with someone who is first generation Mexican-American.
I have a best friend who is African-American.
I have friends and family who identify as LGBTQ.
I have hundreds of friends around the United States, and really the world, who are just like me—spoonies.
We, the disabled community, are shocked by his victory tonight, as I am sure most of you are.
But then again I was shocked that over 50% of Americans are closet xenophobes.
When you cast your vote for Trump tonight, you cast your vote against my life.
I depend on the ACA for health care coverage. I depend on my health care coverage since I’m so sick. And now, I’m living in fear that will all be destroyed. I have so many conditions that no one would ever insure me, and I know that if I have time where I don’t have health insurance, I won’t be able to afford my medication. I won’t be able to see my doctors.
The tears won’t stop coming.
Even with the Ativan to combat the anxiety, they roll.
I am so afraid, a feeling I have never felt as vividly as now.
I am afraid for the next four years.
I am afraid for my S.O. and his family.
I am afraid for myself.
I am afraid for my friends and family, my friends and family of color and various sexual orientations.
I see all of the messages of “advocacy starts now” and “heal with love.” I know in time I will get there. And I will make myself even more of an advocate than I am now because our world has shifted so drastically in the last 24 hours. It will be required of me.
If over 50% of America can vote for Trump to be President, then I get myself moving and I can get myself involved so that “Trump’s America” does not become a reality.
As I write this, I feel the tears start to dry. My head starts to nod in agreement with what I’m writing. The words flow a little faster.
This is not the end; this is beginning.
This is the beginning of a chance to show the world, and the rest of America, that hate is not the path we need to take.
We need to embrace each other; Love a little more in the next coming days. Lick our wounds.
But then, we need to rise.
We need to rise to stand up for ourselves, the marginalized—the women, the minorities, the disabled, the poor, the disadvantaged. Tears will be shed, bonds you thought never would be will be broken.
Perhaps this is it. Perhaps this is where America, founded in 1776 by such idealistic men who had a dream in their heart and a plan in their mind, finally catches up with the rest of the world.
Perhaps this is the time where we, those who oppose Trump, become motivated enough to start making a difference. To become advocates ourselves, to champion causes that suddenly have so much more importance because of the country and world we are now living in.
But, we are Warriors. We are Mighty. We are going to rise—rise above him, rise above the election, rise above the closet misogynistic, racist, homophobic and xenophobic people that elected this man President Elect.
There is a great song by The Band Perry right now called ‘Comeback Kid.’ As of late I’ve made it my little anthem about me and my chronically ill, mentally ill spoonie world.
But there is a line in there: “Looks like I’m breaking, but it’s just a bend. It’s not over yet, ‘cause in the end I’m a comeback kid.”
We may bend. We may bend so much it looks like breaking. For us EDSers, we might bend a little too much and actually dislocate something.
But we will not break.
We will not be silent.
We will rise—together.
We will choose to love—together.
We will combat hate and discrimination—together.
On this, the early morning of November 8, 2016, we have cast our votes for President. Our election is over. But that does not mean your story ends here.
I am a suicide attempt survivor and right now, I think of the semi-colon.
Our story, for tonight, has ended. Donald J. Trump has become President Elect of the United States of America.
But that does not mean it is the end of the story.
It is simply a spot for us all to stand up, loud and proud with that semi-colon story of a life that is not yet finished living, and say that this is not over yet. Our story is not over yet. It will never be over, until we all, as intended, have life, liberty and happiness.
We will rise. Make no mistake about it. It might take four years, but I am encouraged by the amount of people I saw who were as upset as I watching the results.
Tonight, we say a somber prayer for America, as the America we thought we lived in is dead. We, as our election has shown, are comprised of roughly half a nation of people who believe in racism, sexism, homophobia… I could keep going.
But we also have a half a nation, and many other millions of people, both at home and abroad, who are looking for ways right now to make things right.
We already knew that America was in a bad place. We have seen the racism and the police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement (and backlash) and the Islamaphobia. We have seen the 1%, white old rich men take our country and our elections. But it is not their’s to take—not for forever.
We will take it back. Four years is a long time to get some momentum going. Let’s start tonight. Let’s start right now, the campaign to make sure that we all unite in times of adversity, in times of tragedy, and celebrate together in times of triumph.
Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Let us be courageous. Let us continue. Let us rise from the ashes, better than before.
Let us love. Let us hope.
We will continue. We have no choice.
But make no mistake, Mr. President Elect and those who voted for him, we will not roll over and submit to you.
We are a Mighty community, a group of Warriors who don’t back down from their fights. We pick up our shields and swords and we fight.
We will fight oppression. We will fight discrimination.
And I believe we will win. Even if we didn’t win tonight, we will win in the long run.
It’s just going to be a really long down season, as J would say.
The good news?