Pride Month: Chrissy

Remember last month when I said how crazy and mind-blowing it was to receive so much positive feedback regarding the Mental Health Awareness Month posts? If you had told me then that these Pride Month posts would receive even more views, shares, and positive feedback, I probably would have never believed you. 

More on how appreciative I am for all of that another time, but I did want to touch on it for a reason. The writer of this piece is Chrissy, a friend of my friend Laura. It was so beyond humbling when Chrissy reached out to me to write a piece for this blog (thanks to you too, Laura). This kind of interest from people like Chrissy is exactly why I wanted to start this project in the first place. 

I think Chrissy’s words are important for many reasons. As you will read, she explains a common misconception that many people struggle with. For some reason, there is still this unspoken belief that, as a female, you can’t be both gay and pretty. There is still this massive lingering stereotype that gay men are all chiseled Gods with wonderful taste in fashion, and gay women are masculine,  sports-loving, for lack of a better term, “dykes”. 

Not only do I strongly disagree with this long-standing theory, but I actually believe it can be really detrimental to both people within the LGBTQ+ community, and people still coming to terms with their sexuality. To see what I mean by this, check out Chrissy’s piece below: 

“You’re too pretty to be gay.”

A phrase that holds more power than I could ever imagine. Most people who utter it think it’s a harmless joke after feeling unsure of how to react when I disclose my sexuality. But I wish so badly that I could show them the self-conscious whirlwind it sends me down.

I used to feel so much pressure from society to “be a certain way”, and at first, that meant trying to be “straight.” I was unhappy and uncomfortable in my own skin. I felt empty – like I had no purpose in life when I could not live it, or express myself, the way that made me happy. I felt like I was constantly drowning. There was no coming up for air until I could let the part of me out that would help keep me afloat.

When I first started coming out to people, I felt obligated to be the “right kind of lesbian.” What does that even mean, anyway? Ask most close-minded people, and the responses you may get are “butch” or “dyke”. My personal favorite? “Lipstick lesbian.” A term that is thrown around like some foul, derogatory thing, like it’s the “wrong” lesbian. I felt I had something to prove, as if I had to show people that I could be the “right” kind of lesbian. But not anymore. I love women, and how I look and how I dress doesn’t change that. I am free to love who I want, and that, that is what pride is about for me. This month is meant to show people that it’s okay to not fit in a perfect box. Not everything is black and white. It’s something to celebrate, not something to put others down for. Love is beautiful in its entirety.

While I’ve come to terms with the fact that there is no wrong way to love, I still struggle with getting to the stage of readiness where I can tell other people about who I love. My reality of being a lesbian? Imagine every time you met someone new you had to preface with “I’m straight”. It sounds absurd, right?  To announce your sexuality as if it could make or break a relationship. Or worse, that it’s something that could put your life in danger. That’s the reality I live in. With every new move, every new opportunity or experience, any time there’s a chance to meet someone new, it’s a thought that’s in the back of my head, constantly. How to do it, if I should say it, playing out the worst case scenario of how someone might respond. 

As the years go on, I have realized how much it consumes my life, and though I have become more confident with who I am, the fear of people’s responses has grown stronger. I literally feel an obligation to come out again, every time I meet someone. When I was dating, I felt like I had to explain to everyone that I was gay before I could bring my girlfriend around. Needless to say, the anxiety won out most of the time. Unfortunately,  it has been the cause of many breakups, which is infuriating. I want to be angry at all the people I feel as though I have to explain myself to. But who’s fault is it that I have to explain myself? That is the million dollar question. Where did this notion that I have to “get permission” to be gay around people I consider friends come from? Without anywhere to direct that anger, it can bubble inside. Combined with the anxiety it brings, it’s like the angel and the devil on your shoulder, only worse, because they are both whispering terrible things into your ear.

Working in healthcare, I feel as if I will forever be living a double life. I feel obligated to hide the truth about my sexual orientation for fear that it will impact being hired or being able to maintain a job, or worse, how my patients view me. While I want to be angry at the people who make me feel like I have to hide, I am actually more upset with myself for letting other people have such a hold on my life and how I live it. I don’t feel like me, not completely. Because a huge part of me is missing for the majority of my day, and instead, it is always just tucked away in my mind.  While most of the time it’s not something that’s actively a part of my day, it’s impossible to permanently evade the “do you have a boyfriend?” question. A question I so desperately want to correct, and say, “do you mean ‘do I have a significant other?'” I wish I was just bold enough to respond with, “no, but I have a girlfriend.” That day has yet to come though. I am hoping one day I’ll be brave enough because that day will be the first that I feel infinitely free.

 While I would like to think we’ve made progress in this world, it’s still a very scary place to live in. The fear of rejection can make you feel like such an inadequate human being. It can waste you away into nothingness, and infiltrate your every thought until you actually start to believe that you aren’t worth it, that you’re wrong, and that you’re not enough. If there’s one thing I want people to take away from this, it’s that they are enough. They are worth it. Rejection does not define you as a person but rather, it speaks volumes of those who are unwilling to open their minds. It is so incredibly important to rise above those people and love in the way that feels right to you. That’s why “Pride” is such an amazing experience.  You can feel the power of love, and you can sense the strength of all those who have risen above the worst of it. That strength is what we need.  That strength gives people hope. That strength is why I’m here today.   

You can also check out Chrissy on Instagram: @chrissy_wojo

Pride Month: LJ

Today I am extremely happy to share a post written by the very talented, Lawn aka LJ. I met LJ freshman year of college, and I remember feeling like she was just immediately one of the most friendly, outgoing, and accepting people I had met thus far. 

Freshman year of college is weird AF, you’re trying to get to know people, find your niche, and feel comfortable in a foreign place. I was lucky to have been introduced to LJ through another friend of mine, Kara, and our friendship just felt natural. I’m pretty sure the first time we hung out she literally let me drag her along to a concert hours away from our school, for an artist she had never heard of, and even welcomed us to sleep at her house afterward too. 

Anyway, the reason I asked her to write has nothing to do with that (lol), I just wanted to give a funny little backstory. I asked LJ to write because I think her ideas are extremely important. I’ve been following her on Twitter for years now,  and I just feel like there is so much substance and importance to the things LJ tweets and retweets. I just had this feeling that if I reached out to her, she’d have something unique and valuable to share. 

To be honest, LJ’s piece surpasses what I even expected. I know this month is about “Pride”, but like I have said before, “Pride”, and the meaning behind it, encompasses so much more than just positive experiences. Her words aren’t necessarily about a coming out story or a supportive moment, quite the opposite actually, and I think that is what makes them powerful. I don’t want to give too much away with my summary, so just check it out here:

I’m gay, but don’t tell my coworkers

June. The month many LGBTQA members of our society are looking forward to every year. Why? Well, because it’s the month corporate America so generously gives to the LGBTQA community as a chance to be unapologetically proud of who we are and who we love.

For starters, I am a cisgender gay woman and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am out to pretty much everyone: my parents, my friends, and even the random girls I meet around midnight in bars while I’m in line for the bathroom.

However, there is one group of people to which I have never uttered the words, “I’m gay” — my coworkers. While many of them probably assume my identity because I never bring a date to our staff parties and can rock a pantsuit better than Ellen, they never bring it up.

Kenji Yoshino best describes this term in his book, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights. In Laymen’s terms, to cover is to tone down a disfavored identity to fit the mainstream. It’s not a new term and it isn’t solely attributed to the LGBTQA community. There is also racial covering and sex-based covering, but this post focuses on LGBTQA covering.

People cover for many reasons. I cover for fear that my homosexual identity will undermine the quality of work that I produce. I don’t want to be known at work for my sexual orientation because I don’t want to give anyone a reason to dislike me for something that is irrelevant to my work performance.

Is this thought process messed up? You bet. It’s hard going to work every day feeling like I have to censor my true self to cater to the bias and comfort levels of other people.

But covering doesn’t make me feel safe and “in control.” Instead, I feel ashamed and dishonest. I’m ashamed that I care so much of what current and future colleagues may think of me and I feel a dishonesty that is so privileged because I can pass as straight.

It’s also discouraging to think that people I work so closely with every day might suddenly shift their opinions of me because of who I have feelings for.

I guess I have to decide what’s more important to me, the comfort of others or how beautiful my girlfriend will look at our next holiday party.

Pride Month: Carrie

Although this weekend was Pride in NYC, that doesn’t mean my posts are over yet!! I still have a few more awesome pieces to share.

For those of you who know Carrie, are there even words to accurately describe her? Like I’m asking genuinely because I don’t know if there are. Carrie, the writer of this piece, is like the best combination of all of your favorite comedians, rolled into one.

Befriending Carrie felt so natural. It’s just impossible to feel uncomfortable around her. My friend Morgan put it best when she said, “she’s hysterical, yet the most personal and easy going at the same time. She’s a real life example of not taking anything too seriously and counting your blessings.”

That is Carrie to the T. Genuine, compassionate, and without a doubt, always the funniest person in the room. 

She is the type to put her whole heart into everything she does, which is why I am so excited to share her piece for Pride Month today. It’s raw and honest and seriously beautiful. Her words literally radiate this newfound confidence, and I can guarantee you’ll find it just as captivating as I do.

Here it is:

“What are you so afraid of?”

I sat across from my therapist shaking like a leaf. If I could’ve gotten up and bolted to the door at that point I would’ve, but my head was spinning and I thought any sudden movement would send my dinner all over her Persian rug. It was early October, I’d just graduated from college, and I hadn’t seen my friends in what felt like years. You know those heavy, grey coats they used to make you wear at the dentists when they’d x-ray your teeth? I felt like I was constantly wearing six of them– I was a slab of lead, I was dead wood, and I was sick of feeling like I couldn’t speak, or breathe, or grow, or do much of anything, really.

It was my fourth session with my therapist Susan, and I’d made pretty good headway since I had nearly gone into cardiac arrest coming out to her a few weeks prior. I had made some progress, but the real challenge was sitting right in front of me, staring me in the face: I had to come out to my friends and family.

Figuring out the logistics of coming out was turning into a big, gigantic fucking nightmare, and I was getting lost in the details. I felt like I was trying to throw a surprise party, only instead of everyone surprising one person, I was one person trying to surprise a mob of people. What if I tell this person and they can’t keep their mouth shut so they tell someone else, and it spreads? I’m not ready for all of kingdom come to know I’m gay. I can’t do this shit…

Trying to control a rumor is the easiest way to make yourself insane. The x-ray coat began to feel heavier and heavier.

I was in the middle of rambling on when Susan cut me off: “What are you so afraid of? What’s stopping you from coming home, right now, sitting your family down and saying, ‘hey guys, I’m gay.’”

She was right. I was scared. I was absolutely petrified. I thought that coming out meant I’d risk losing the friends/family/relationships that I cared the most about. I thought my friends would think I was weird. I thought my relationship with my sister would change, I worried my little brother wouldn’t look up to me the same way he did. I just wanted things to be the way they were, I didn’t want to be labeled, or boxed in, or put in a corner over something that I had no control over.

I was starting to work myself up into a state, when Susan looked me dead in the eye and said “Well, yeah. That might happen. You may lose some friends, people may look at you differently. But when you’re totally yourself, you’ll attract the true friends, and you’ll build stronger relationships than you’ve ever had before.” 

It’s crazy how the worst thing in the entire world can turn into the most important lesson ever. Yeah, I really did feel like my worst nightmare had come true- but it was the first time that something really clicked. It was the moment I realized that I had to really start to love myself- FULLY- every part, regardless of if I’m different, or weird, or off-the-wall, or whatever. Regardless, unconditionally, I had to be good with myself. I had to get right with myself.

It’s been 6 months since I came out, and while some things have changed, the important things have remained the same. The people who matter couldn’t have been more supportive, present, and encouraging. I’m talking rock stars. The night I told one of my best friends, Cat, she replied with: “Damn. Donald Trump was just elected President and my best friend’s gay. Today is officially the most shocking day of 2016.” We both fell into an instant heap of laughter. 6 months later, and I still crack up telling people her response … like I said. Rock stars.

I realize that not everyone has the same outcomes though. Some people don’t have the people; some people don’t have the support. That’s why, now more than ever, we have got to love ourselves and practice being true to ourselves every day. It’s not easy and it’s something we’ve got to work at. When you’re true to yourself you glow, and you simultaneously give other people permission to do so too.

In the end, nothing is more important than being true to yourself. No image, no idea, no preconceived notions about what you should do with your life, who you should love, who you should be, should come before being true to yourself. I won’t act like I’ve got it all figured out, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m on the first step of a thousand-ringed ladder. But for the first the first time I feel like the ladder is leaning against the right wall.

About a year ago I stumbled upon a post about coming out, and I thought, “damn it, I wish I could just talk to this person anonymously. I don’t want to open a whole can of worms, I just need someone to listen.” If you’re feeling like this, don’t do what I did, and put it at the bottom of your to-do list. Come talk to me. Doesn’t matter who you are, if you know me, if you’re feeling just a hunch, or you’re like WOW IM AS GAY AS SUNSHINE. It’s 2017, but it still takes a heap of courage. The more we can help each other out the better off we all will be.

Special Thanks to you Krump, for asking me to write this blog. It’s one thing to be brave enough to put your stuff on the big bad internet like she does every month, but she takes it a step further and gives other people the opportunity to share their voice too. Hats off to you my friend.

Check Carrie out on Instagram: @carriebrennan

 

Pride Month: Alex

Recently I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Alex, the writer of this piece. If Alex has taught me anything, it’s to never judge a book by its cover. I know I’ve really been using cliches left and right to describe these writers, but bear with me.

Alex is a sports reporter. If you look through her social media, you’ll see a beautiful, confident AF, powerful chick. Alex is all of those things, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that there is more to a person than the way the present themselves to the world. 

Although we continue to make strides as a country, we still live in a very heteronormative society. That way of thinking is just second nature to most of us. I think it is important to keep in mind that most people don’t actually fit perfectly in this binary world we’re so accustomed to though. 

As you will read, Alex explains her feelings on preconceived notions, labels, and false judgments. This piece is a good reminder that Pride Month is meant to encompass a broad spectrum of experiences, identities, and beliefs. I think most of us can relate to these words in one way or another. Check it out:

In lieu of Pride month: This wannabe Kardashian mirror selfie has inspired me to write about my journey in a male dominated, heteronormative industry. 

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Fear & Feminism go hand-in-hand for me. It’s just like that game “Never Have I Ever.” You know, that silly game you played back in the day, where you lied to convince the world you’re cooler than you actually are. Anyway, never have I ever fit a specific gender mold or stereotype. With that, I’ve struggled with my identity at times – not a good feeling. My social media image has specifically always been a battle. For many reasons, mostly because of my profession, I’ve been cautious of what I post. Often, resorting to not posting anything at all because I didn’t want to get fired or unfairly judged. Now, I’m in-between jobs and I’m scared it will affect getting hired again.  I’ve tormented myself with questions like; “Will this photo make me look too boyish?” Or “Will people think I’m slutty if I post another selfie?” And my favorite, “What if I lose followers with a non-sexy picture, or one about girl politics” (those followers being mostly men who only follow me for the latter).

Why can’t I post all of it without being put into a Jeopardy category? I always post about sports. I post videos of myself being stupid and hitting tackling dummies at the Jets practice facility. I’ve even Instagrammed myself wearing an ugly pantsuit with my mom when we went to vote for Hillary (never forget Hill Dog). So, what I’m saying is simple. I should also be able to post this wannabe Kardashian, bikini mirror selfie if I damn well please! I don’t think it makes me any less of a feminist or strong female figure. 

It’s really exhausting dealing with this sh$t. (I know, whoa is me. You poor, privileged white girl). But I can personally tell you that a lot of people struggle with issues that aren’t obvious to the naked eye. I might look or sound a certain way, but most of you don’t know who I really am…probably a good thing because I’m crazy (joking, but not really). Judgmental men AND women are running around rampant in the sports media world. I’m serious, it’s  more common than girls spending half of their monthly paychecks on SoulCycle when they can’t even afford their rent. I have a message to all of the haters and instigators. To the athletes who assume I “want” them because of my outgoing personality – sorry, but I’m just a girl trying to do her job. I don’t want you. I want an interview with you, I want your story. To former colleagues who’ve spread rumors that I sleep around, and attribute it to my success as a reporter –  your vitriol is more laughable than when some idiot wrote that I wanted “Bukaki” from the entire Jets team on a very public forum (google the word for a chuckle).

You see, sometimes things and people aren’t as they appear, and that’s definitely the case for me. I hate labels more than I hate people who think it’s okay to chomp on their gum, or who leave their bloodstained mattresses in the hallway outside my apartment (seriously people?) I refuse to label myself, but I have you all thinking now, don’t I? The only category I’ll ever put myself  into is one labeled “Bad Ass Chick.” I’m proud of exactly who I am; a twenty-something-year-old who just wants to get through the day, and come home to her Frenchie and glass of chardonnay.

This is where the mirror selfie comes back into play. Don’t judge a chick or a dude by his or her cover. So here’s my kicker…I like boys, and I like girls too. The more the merrier! I’ve dated women over the last six years of my life.  Shocking? It might be for those of you who don’t know me. That’s why it’s so important we stop making preconceived notions about people in a heteronormative society. You might think I’m weird and that’s fine. I’m perfectly perfect being different. 

You can follow Alex on social media: 
Instagram: @alexgiaimo
Twitter: @AlexGiaimo
And her website: alexgiaimo.com

Feminism

I just would quickly like to put this out into the world as a reminder for anyone who happens to read this. The definition of feminism is below: 

fem·i·nism /’feməˌnizəm/ noun: the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

I literally cannot understand why so many people are sharing and supporting that girl’s “article” on The Odyssey where she discusses that she’s a woman but she’s “over feminism”. 

To start, I can never understand why anyone shares anything written on The Odyssey as if it’s a well-written, reliable source. They are all opinion pieces by college kids that, more often than not, are also very poorly written!!!

Also, it just is very hard for me to fathom why any educated, upper-middle class woman (aka the majority of my female Facebook friends) could possibly say they do not support feminism. I mean, it is hard for me to fathom why ANYONE regardless of gender, race, socioeconomic status, etc is against the idea of feminism, but that’s a whole other can of worms. 

It just doesn’t make sense to me, personally, why another female would be against the idea that women and men should be treated equally.

Feminism doesn’t mean that women are better than men. Feminists don’t want women to have more respect/power/advantages/etc than men. Feminism is just about equality

Ideally, in a world where everyone was feminist, we would all just be given the options to do whatever we please without fear of discrimination, inequality, lack of safety, etc. 

In the girl’s “article” on The Odyssey she explains that she doesn’t support ideas like televising women’s sports, women paying for the check on dates, etc. But my big rebuttal to her is that no one says you need to support those things! That’s not what feminism is. Feminism is just giving everyone the opportunity to be able to support/practice those ideas if/when they want to without judgement. 

So hey, if you don’t want to be the first girl in the NFL, or the breadwinner of your household, or a working woman in general, etc etc etc, you don’t have to be!! But some women want those things, and those women should be allowed all of the opportunities they ever dream of having, with just as equal of an opportunity to have them as men! 

The reason women are so “okay” now in 2016 is because many, many bad-ass women fought their asses off for the rights that you and I have today. That is why I fight to support equal rights. Because yes, many of us are “okay”, but we didn’t get here by being quiet. Just because we’ve gained some rights, doesn’t mean I will now stay complacent. There is so much work left to be done.

Also uhhhhhhh just a little side note, many of the people who believe we have it “so good” already are people (at least from what i’ve noticed) that are currently living and/or were raised in fairly well-off, fairly open-minded areas. You have no idea the struggles other people (women, minorities, etc) around this country face every second of every day. If you don’t want to fight for your own rights maybe at least consider fighting for theirs! 

My point is, I’m not trying to preach. I understand that we all have different opinions/political views/values/etc. But in terms of feminism, it just seems like many people have been missing the real meaning of the term (and the movement in general). You don’t have to believe everything I do. In fact, most people don’t. But I just hope more people learn to take the time to educate themselves on topics being widely discussed before they chime in with their own opinions. 

~I gottttta stop posting about politics and go back to posting blogs where I wallow in self pity~

An Aggressively Long Novel i.e. My Feelings on the Election!!!!

So I purposely attempted to wait a little while before
writing anything about my feelings on the election. Partially because I still
am not entirely sure how I feel, and partially because I wanted to let it sink
in a bit.

I’ll start by saying this post is going to be very different
than the post I started to write last Tuesday after voting. HAVVVVVING SAID
THAT, originally I was VERY bitter that I was so happy and hopeful on Tuesday, and then so heartbroken on Wednesday, but I don’t feel that way
anymore.

I am still so
thankful that I took the day off last week to vote. It was the first election I
have voted in and I am really proud that I spent the time trying to really understand
who/what I was voting for. I am also proud that I took the day off to travel
back to Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania, as I’m sure you know, is historically a
swing state, so I feel like my trek back was worth the effort, even if the rest
of the state didn’t end up voting the way that I did.

On an unrelated note, Tuesday was also nice just because I
was home. I spent the afternoon sitting and writing at the Starbucks in the
center of town that I used to hang out at every weekend throughout my teens. It
was kind of a funny coming-of-age feeling to be there as a “mature” voting
adult, after spending so much time there as a little naïve kid. I also spent
the evening looking at houses with my mom, and eating dinner at a restaurant
she used to go to all of the time when we still lived in Doylestown. It made me
really miss home and it made me extremely excited that my mom is considering
moving back there in a couple of months. Doylestown just has such a place in my
heart (in case you couldn’t tell!!!).

It’s also just very weird but very (for lack of a better word) cool
to look back on how much I’ve changed since I was still living (full time aka
pre-college) in Doylestown. I feel like I’ve really grown into myself over the
past year or so and I’m really proud of that!

ANYWAYS onto the political part. Obviously I was not too
pleased about the election results (to put it lightly), but I am trying to be
open-minded. To start, I voted for Hillary mostly due to social reasons. I
believe that (at least for me) political views can change and fluctuate anywhere
along the liberal/conservative spectrum over time. I think that currently, as
24 year old female living in New York City, social reasons play the biggest
part in my political opinions. Maybe 10, 20, or 30 years from now that will be
different. Who’s to say that sometime in the future I won’t be more interested
in voting for economic reasons? I don’t know! But right now, as I’m sure you
have already guessed, I identify as a very liberal person. I am very passionate
about equal rights for women, LGBTQ+, POC, immigrants, etc. That is why I voted
for Hillary. As I said in my Instagram post, I wanted a strong FEMALE role
model for kids to look up to. I wanted the future little girls of America to
never doubt that they can be just as good as the boys. I wanted LGBTQ+ youth
(and adults) to feel safe in their communities. I wanted POC to feel like they
had an equal shot at whatever they strive for. I wanted there to be more advocacy to decrease the stigma surrounding mental health. I wanted immigrants to never
have to fear their potential deportation.

Obviously these dreams are a bit unrealistic. I never
genuinely assumed that, if Hillary became president, our entire country would just adopt
accepting views and automatically become filled with endless love and open-mindedness.
But my point was, that Hillary would have been an amazing step in the right
direction, just as Obama was (is). You can argue forever over whether or not Obama was a good president. Regardless, I believe that an African American in the White House was a huge, important step forward for America. Basically what I’m trying to say is, I didn’t vote for Hillary because I was
voting against Trump or something, I voted for Hillary because I support what she stands for, and because she gives me hope for the future.

**I also will be honest, I’ve watched one too many
documentaries recently about the Women’s Liberation Movement, and the 13th
Amendment, the Criminal Justice System, and Gay Rights and I’ve basically spent
the past month or so panicking even more than ever about how far we’ve come
socially, but how much further we still have to go. LOL vague statement I know…
maybe I’ll get into all of that in another post. Once I start ranting about
that stuff though, it will spiral endlessly out of control until I just start
talking about how, even if we fix every problem in the world, we will still
probably die of a natural disaster. ~See some of my prior Twitter tirades as an
example~ YEAH SO LETS NOT GO THERE. Not a pretty sight!! Not a rational
conversation!!**

So liiiiiiiike Trump is the next president. Sick!!! I spent
most of last Tuesday night watching the poll results and panicking, until I finally
fell asleep around 1am, had not one, not two, but THREE nightmares that Trump
won the election, and then woke up to the realization that he actually really
did win. My first reaction was to cry. I was frustrated, angry, and
embarrassed. Embarrassed by how I thought the majority of the country agreed
with the way I was voting. Angry that a woman still wasn’t going to be
president. And frustrated that an idea I thought was a joke a year ago just
became reality.

My next reaction was to fight back. At first I thought that,
because Trump was elected, this must mean the majority of the country didn’t
care about the social issues that I cared about. I couldn’t understand how
anyone would vote for him knowing his morals and past actions. I immediately wrote
a lengthy Instagram post about my feelings. By this time, Hillary was giving
her concession speech. Obviously I wept as I watched, I’m sure most people who
support her did. Her speech was filled with so much love and hope and passion
that it broke my heart. Then I took a break, and tried to consider other
people’s viewpoints. I tried to think logically about why and how Trump could
have won the election after I was so convinced Hillary was going to blow him out
of the water.

I came to the conclusion that this election result is not entirely
bad! I’m sure plenty of people have probably made these same points, but here
is my reasoning:

  1. Setbacks
    just teach us to fight harder.
    The fact that I basically assumed Hillary
    would win without question just means that I was a little naïve with regards to how progressive
    our country currently is (or isn’t). Trump’s win is the shock that should show us (aka
    anyone who is passionate about fighting for human rights) that the fight is
    nowhere near over. With this setback, we can find the passion and drive to
    fight for the equality everyone deserves, now more so than ever.
  2. This one
    is a stretch…
    but Trump used to be a Democrat, and I’ve read some
    articles (although I can’t guarantee they’re even remotely reliable… heh) about how his actions
    during this election could MAYBE have been purposely exaggerated to grab the
    attention/win the votes of the middle of America that tends to be more strongly
    conservative. I can’t say how much I believe this point, but hey, I’m including in anyway. Optimism AMIRITE!!! Don’t read my content if you’re looking for totally factual information because I’m tellin’ ya now, I ain’t supplyin’ that!! But my point in this is…… maybe he’ll chill the EFF out a little when he gets into
    office. It doesn’t seem like that yet, but cross your fingers, ok.
  3. On a more serious note, we as a
    nation are strong enough to fight back.
    Look at the statistics. 55% of our
    country is in favor of gay marriage, 56% of us are in favor of abortions
    being/staying legal, 58% of the nation supports universal health care, 64% of
    the country believes in global warming, and 59% of believe that immigration is
    more helpful than hurtful. SOOO if Trump wants to make massive changes that
    negatively impact these wildly supported concepts, we have the numbers in our
    favor. We have to use this to our advantage.
  4. This has
    opened my eyes to how the internet (kind of) blinded me from the truth.
    The
    majority of people I follow and websites I visit are verrry liberal. I
    purposely follow a lot of powerful women and LGBTQ+/POC online because I like
    seeing their strong, powerful, hopeful messages and I love promoting their
    content. It was so easy for me to assume that because 90% of the media I’m
    consuming is liberal, that 90% of the country must be just as liberal too. That
    is soooo far from the truth. This has reminded me that there is a whole
    plethora of viewpoints out there that I should be more aware of. We have to
    step outside our bubbles to really see the full story sometimes.
  5. Not
    everyone who voted for Trump hates gays or women or people of color.
    A lot
    of people I know who voted for Trump did so for economic reasons. A lot of very
    intelligent people I might add. I can’t and shouldn’t judge these people,
    because in my opinion, like I said before, we all have different motives behind
    our votes. I’m not saying I approve of Trump or am willing to overlook his
    negativities. I am saying that not everyone voted for him because they want to
    deport immigrants, or criminalize abortions, or overturn the legalization of
    gay marriage. I know it’s easy to immediately judge someone who disagrees with
    your opinions, but I’m trying really hard to be open minded and understanding.
    And I’m trying to remind myself that this country is still filled with many
    more good people than bad.
  6. Change
    can still happen on a smaller scale too.
    Even if Hillary had won, there
    would still be plenty of racist, sexist, homophobic/transphobic, etc etc, over-all judgmental
    people in this country. We can help to change the views of these people on a
    smaller scale. We can support local organizations and safe-spaces right now! We
    can donate our time and money to the places that we believe in. I currently am
    working on finding ways to support Planned Parenthood and the Trevor Project! You can find tons of awesome places/organizations like that too! 
  7.  We can
    use our voices!! Right now!!
    I love communities like YouTube for example,
    that have become a space for people of all walks of life to share their
    experiences. I follow so many amazing people on YouTube and I watch week after
    week as these people are influencing hundreds of thousands of viewers worldwide
    with their stories. I purposely follow a lot of young gay/lesbian/trans people
    because I love seeing how they’re teaching so many others to be comfortable in
    their skin. I also follow a lot of people who openly talk about their struggles
    with physical disabilities and mental illnesses. I follow comedians, activists,
    and a lot of kewl passionate young kids who are trying to do awesome things.
    Although I am not creating content like these people, I openly support them
    with my subscriptions, likes, and comments. I also try to share content that I
    find specifically influential with a wider audience on my social media platforms.  I think it’s really important to show your support for these people!! It’s fucking terrifying to share your true and honest self
    with the world. These people receive a lot of negative feedback for their
    content. It’s important to express to them that you support what they’re doing! It
    really really helps, I’m telling you! This applies to anything, not just
    YouTube. From a post on social media, to a protest on the street, if you agree
    with it, let them know! And if you want to share your beliefs and experiences
    too, do it! Even if people disagree, I’m telling you that people will support you
    and I’m telling you it’s worth it. Fight for the change/equality/acceptance that
    you believe in. You will feel proud and empowered, I promise.

Soooooooooo THAT’S MY SPIEL!! DID YOU LIKE IT? DID YOU HATE
IT? IDC EITHER WAY HA!! On a sort of funny note, I’ve already lost 8 followers on
Instagram this week based on my past three liberally-swayed posts lol. I really
thought that would be something that upset me, but it honestly makes me feel
proud. I am proud that I spoke my mind and shared what I believe in. If people
disagree so much that they don’t want to continue to follow me that is fine by
me! 

I have plenty of friends with differing opinions and we can still mutually respect
each other. I think that’s how it should be! There will always be Republicans
and there will always be Democrats. For everything you support, there is going
to be at least one person that is going to oppose it. That is just the way life
is! 

But hopefully some parts of this post made at least a little bit of sense!!?! I’m still working through my feelings and opinions honestly. So who knows,
maybe a couple months from now my outlook on all of this will have changed
again. But for now, this long rant is how I feel. Hopefully Trump doesn’t fuck
shit up and we all live happily ever after!!!!!!!!!!!!! ‘Murica, amirite? 

**Disclaimer, this was 4 pages long, SRY. HOPEFULLY IT’S SORT OF GRAMATICALLY CORRECT I WROTE IT AT WORK SO SRY OK BYE**

 But seriously, let me know your thoughts/opinions too? If you want?