As a brown, queer, immigrant disabled woman, I can totally understand the gut wrenching fear invading the lives of people like myself and other minority groups who under a Trump presidency could end up paying the price of being different with our very lives.
Some may see this as an exaggeration, but it’s not. The truth is that being brown, queer, immigrant, disabled, and female puts us in danger of losing our most basic human rights and our ability to choose for ourselves.
As a person of color, my heart breaks at the realization of the level of racial hatred that has floated to the surface during this presidential election. Just the very thought that our next leader is a man whose only official endorsement comes from the KKK, makes me shiver in fear. As it is, people of color have been targeted and killed by police on daily basis. Under this new administration, open and shameless racism will become the norm. It is only a matter of months before we go back to pre-civil rights era of Whites Only America.
As a bi-sexual person of color, I unite in solidarity with my queer family and community who now also face additional dangers of losing the basic human rights implemented during the last administration. Goodbye gay marriage, good bye to any gay rights legislation. We are in danger of being thrown back in the closet and forced to stay there without the possibility of parole.
As an immigrant who has loved this country for the last thirty-five years, I also feel devastated about how much anger I have witnessed towards those of us who were not born in this country. We have been called criminals and rapists and users and takers. We have been demonized and punished for our heritage. Even those of Mexican or Muslim ancestry who were born in this country have been the targets of hateful bigotry. Whether the so called Trump wall is built or not, a wall has already been successfully built by the racist divisiveness of Trump and his supporters.
As a woman with a disability, nothing is more painful than witnessing the pain and fear in my disabled brothers and sisters. For the first time in our political history has disability played such a major public role in a presidential election. The bullying of disabled people, the mocking, the ridiculing, the ignorance….how do we explain this to our disabled children and all children for that matter? What can we possibly say to people with disabilities who are now in danger of losing everything, and by everything I mean EVERYTHING: Healthcare, financial support for those unable to work, government sustained programs that allow people to be independent, and much more. Our ability to be contributing members of society and living a respectable life goes out the window with this administration. People with disabilities, but especially people with significant disabilities could be forced into institutions due to the extinction of programs that allow community integration.
Finally, as a woman (forget for a second all the above mentioned intersectional aspects of my persona), as a WOMAN, I am afraid. Afraid for the future of girls and young women who from this day on, at least for the next four years, will live in fear of being groped and sexually molested because the message that such is OK has been sent loud and clear by the man who is now our president. Women’s bodies will now be controlled by white men who think a vagina is something they can own. Our rights to decide what to do with our bodies and our lives will be taken back to the era of illegal abortions with a butcher knife on a dirty kitchen table at the hands of anybody willing to make a buck. Violence against women at all levels will be on the rise as abusive men gloat on the power that has been validated by the way women are publicly viewed by Mr. Trump who is now sadly the most powerful man on earth.
Yes, queer, immigrant, disabled women have real reasons to be afraid right now. Our fears are real and they are no joke. At least not to us. Those who tell us not to worry, or to not exaggerate, or try to tell us to calm down and that everything will be ok cannot possibly know what it’s like to be in our situation. When I hear people say things like that in light of such devastating reality, I simply feel like my wounds are ripped open deeper and deeper each time. Every time you minimize the seriousness of what WE face, you are not being an ally. You are not helping us heal. And we must, MUST find a way to heal, but we won’t be able to do it if we keep putting a blindfold over our eyes and pretend that our reasons to be afraid are not valid.
Please do not allow your white privilege, or your able-bodied privilege, or your heterosexual privilege, or your American born privilege to keep you from seeing our truths. We are hurting. We are afraid for our lives. We are afraid for our future. When you tell us that everything will be ok, please remember you’re not the one who has to live in our queer brown disabled bodies. And as far as the hatred toward immigrants, let’s remember the America you love IS a nation of immigrants.
May we find the strength to move on although it feels like part of us has died. We must continue to rise above the hatred, above the fear and find hope again for hope itself is now our only hope.