We just elected a man who has said horrible things about people like me, and that is perhaps what makes me the saddest of all.
I have sat sobbing over dead friends and made promises at the funerals of children no more than twelve that I’m afraid I may no longer be able to keep. I have heard from LGBTQ friends as they’ve feared a vice president who believes in conversion therapy. I have texted close friends as they cried on bathroom floors because a gunman with troubling behavior and legally bought guns shot someone they loved. I have watched muslim friends joke about a Trump presidency with hurt behind their eyes because they know the Islamophobia in this country is far more prominent than we once thought. I have talked with an eighteen year old immigrant as the news rolled in and she no longer felt welcome in this country. I have watched the last three years of my life...every hurt, death, and sleepless night while working on this legislation...jeopardized by a man who believes that “no one” has done more for disabled people than him because he complied with ADA standards.
America, we were already great. We were great because I got to grow up in an America where things may have been a bit more challenging, but I was unhindered by my gender or physical ability. A place where unlike my mémé, I got to get an education. Where unlike my mother, I saw women entering the career I wanted to have. We were great because the silent majority protested against bigotry and hate speech. We can be great without racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic, ableist behavior.
Laugh all you want, but I’m watching heartbroken marginalized groups feel like their progress has been for naught, and that in itself is a tragedy..