Gutted. The morning of November 8th, and every morning since, I wake up feeling gutted. 5:30am: Deep breaths. Right now that's all you can control, take deep breaths. 6:00am: I pick up my phone to double check that this isn't some warped reality.
I knew. I knew since the day that Donald Trump became the Republican nominee that he would be elected. I knew because he ran this campaign on fear. I questioned many friends, especially my white friends, who were passive as their family and friends voted for Trump while they voted for Hillary -- I still don't understand how they could sit with that company in such ease.
Since the announcement, I have felt this election running through my veins every breathing moment since he became president-elect. There is not one part of my identity that he hasn't ran against. As a Muslim. A woman. An environmental scientist. And yet, he somehow became president. It makes me sick to my stomach every time I think about it.
It has been hard to exist at work, at home, in public spaces, and even around friends. I've had some friends tell me it's going to be okay. I don't even know what that means. My unstated response is, "it must be nice to live a life of privilege and have never felt attacked for just existing." Before November 8th, that thought only ever surfaced every now and then -- usually, when I noticed people blatantly exercising their white privilege. Now it's always sitting there at the forefront of my mind. To those that have said it is going to be okay, here's my answer: "Actually, NO. It's not going to be 'okay.' Don't tell me it's going to be 'okay.' You don't understand what I or my community is dealing with."
What hurts above all is my country's open rejection of my existence. It's not like I didn't already know how some people felt, but you sure know how to cut a scar deeper, America. It doesn't matter what excuse a Trump supporter says to me or what I read in the thousand articles I have consumed since. Supporting Donald Trump was a vote to support vile, racist, misogynistic demagogue and a vote to conserve whiteness. Anyone who dares tells me otherwise is wrong. When we vote for a person, we vote to support their entire platform of ideas even if it is not something that makes us comfortable. We are choosing to say, "Yes that's 'okay.' " So if you voted Trump, then I heard you say that you support racism and xenophobia, that you don't care about our planet, and you voted against my very being. What's left for me to say? I feel physically and emotionally assaulted.
The only way to describe this post-election period is volatile. Some days are better than others. Some days are just a sea of emotions. And, nothing will change this outcome, but protesting in Los Angeles and working on connecting with community organizers across the region -- I have to do whatever I can to end this terror. It's the only thing that is keeping me going.
To my Muslim, Mexican, Black, LGBTQ, and every marginalized community -- this is just the beginning of our fight. I'm exhausted, but I won't stop.