History Has Its Claws In Me

I wore myself out from my anger and frustration over the election yesterday. If you know me, you know that just makes me more angry and frustrated. As a result, a lot of what I say here will be taken from my Facebook page that I posted on yesterday. But I’m not just going to repeat what I’ve said over and over.

Yesterday, among all the discourse, one of my former high school teachers said “There were kids crying in the hallway when I got to school today” while he talked about Trump’s election and if that doesn’t tell you that our country has hit a low point, I don’t know what will. That broke my heart to read.

Because amidst all my friends and family worrying about the results of this election, I came to remember that children are affected too. These children are going to live in fear for the next four years. And that is not okay.

There was a brief moment yesterday where I seriously considered taking the frame off my Facebook profile photo that says I support trans rights because I had a genuine fear that I will get attacked for advertising my queer identity and my disabilities under Trump’s presidency. I still have that fear.

But I’m turning that fear to anger. Anger at the Americans who voted for a man that incites that fear in me.

When I first heard the soundtrack to Hamilton: An American Musical, I was proud to be an American for one of the first times in my life. For my religion class, we read Sacred Ground by Eboo Patel, and for once I actually had hope for America.

That pride and hope is burning to the ground in the wake of my anger over this election. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not loosing my mind in anger solely because of one man. I’m angry because of what he represents.

In electing Donald Trump, our country has told people that it’s acceptable to be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, sexually and non-sexually violent, prejudiced against other religions, and countless other despicable things.

Just last night, on the first day after Trump’s election and the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the first night that the Nazis started terrorizing Jewish people in Germany, people were going out and spray-painting and promoting Neo-Nazi propaganda. Already, there have been countless accounts of violence across America perpetuated by Trump supporters. It’s not just a joke to compare Trump to Hitler – many of his supporters are just as anti-semitic.

I’m not solely afraid of and angered by a man endorsed by the KKK and Neo-Nazis and other terrible organizations – I’m also angry and afraid of the people who overlooked those endorsements, who aren’t bothered by those endorsements. I’m angry that instead of fixing the rampant underlying bigotry problems we had in America, we allowed people to uncover those bigotries and flaunt them with pride.

Tell me all you want that I should be respectful of people’s opinions and their right to vote for who they want, it doesn’t change one major fact. If someone voted for Trump, they voted to disrespect my existence, and the existence of countless others. Why should I respect someone who disrespects everything I am and everything I stand for?

I refuse to hide any parts of my identity out of fear, no matter how terrified I am. If I get attacked, it’s going to happen while I am unapologetically me. I will not compromise my identity for my safety because I deserve better than this.

I am a minority.

I was designated female at birth. I am a genderfluid individual who mainly presents as male. I am disabled. I am not Christian.

I support people of all religions and of all skin colors.

I do not support racism, sexism, religious prejudice, queerphobia, ableism, sexual violence, or any other kind of violence or bigotry.

And I am unashamed. I will fight for my country and I will not apologize for who I am.

This is not a Christian nation, it’s a nation where we are all entitled to our religions. We are all entitled to being safe in our identities. Everyone deserves freedom and safety and I will give my all to make sure that everyone gets it.

All my life, I’ve been given shit for refusing to stand and say the pledge of allegiance or sing the national anthem. I’ve been told I’m disrespecting the men and women who fight for our country.

As someone with a cousin in the Army and a cousin in the Marines, I can tell you this: I respect them so much. But they aren’t the ones fighting for this country right now. Yes, they may one day end up going to war. But do you know who’s currently fighting for this country and always have been?

The people of color fighting against racism in this country. The LGBTQIA+ community fighting for rights. The women who are fighting to maintain their right to control all decisions made about their body. Non-Christians fighting for their right to practice their religion freely and without hate thrown at them. Disabled individuals fighting for equality.

Individuals fighting to be equal, safe, and free in society.

So tell me all you want that I’m disrespecting the people who fight for our country by not pledging allegiance to the flag or not standing for our national anthem, because that’s not true in the slightest. If I were to pledge allegiance or stand, I would be disrespecting all those individuals still fighting, including myself.

I will not show respect to this country until this country has earned it, and especially not after this election.

I deserve to live in a better America than this, but people have taken that America from me. So I will fight for it back and I will not stop until people realize just how wrong they were to vote for man such as Trump.

I’m gonna take my burning anger and use it to fuel the flames of my activism and fight for the America I believe in. I will take what I learned from Eboo Patel and fight for pluralism and equality in America. I will take inspiration from Hamilton and rise up. I will be as active as I can with my disabilities. I will not be pushed aside.

I am a minority and I’m unapologetic. History not only has its eyes on me – it sunk its claws in deep because I cannot sit back without fighting for what’s right and I will NOT throw away my shot. America is my country, too, and you will have to fight me for it.

Pry it from my cold dead hands, I dare you.

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