I remember waking up the morning after a good night out. I started by figuring out where I was (usually in my own bed), what happened, and then consuming water, fried food, and Advil. I moved to the couch and began a day of snoozing and TV binging until the end of the day.
Waking up today felt like the beginning of a four-year hangover. I tried to pep myself up with a talk “maybe it won’t be as bad as I think” and “he’s more liberal than he says.” But it’s not working. Five minutes into a conversation with my Mom, a Trump supporter, I’m in tears.
I’m worried about how this will affect the LGBTQ community. My brother is 27, trying to establish a career in Tampa as a singer. He’s also gay. He knows what it means to be talked about like you’re an animal, treated as less than human, and made fun of by both strangers and family. He knows what it’s like to be afraid. He’s a minority.
I’m worried about how this will affect the people I love. Both sets of our parents receive disability, Social Security, and/or Medicare. The Republican plan to balance the budget guts both, and Social Security benefits by as much as 25%. My brother has a medical condition that would prevent him from obtaining affordable health care if Obamacare is repealed.
I’m worried about national security. Republicans love to go to war. They feed off of guns and glory. If a terror attack happens, will President Trump immediately go into war? Clinton was more cautious and took a wait-and-see approach. As the sister of soldiers, I liked that cautious outlook.
I’m worried about how this will affect minorities. My mother’s family is very white-bread Southern family, one that dates back to the founding of this country. They immigrated from England in the 1700’s, and slowly moved their way down to Tampa. I’ve grown up listening to them complain about literally every minority group that exists in the United States, but they treat people with courtesy and respect. That’s the demographic that elected Trump. Will this revert all of us back to a 1960’s era of water hoses and maltreatment of people who just want to be treated equally? Or will our common decency win out?
Today, I’m reminding myself to breathe. To play with my dogs. To hug my brother. To drink copious amounts of coffee, take an Advil, and spend some time tending myself until I feel more prepared to handle this disappointment.