The conversation I keep having lately echoes just how minorities feel right now; “How will we survive?”
We are scared, we are worried, and so many of us are wondering if we have the fight left in us to fight for our lives let alone our rights. I won’t lie and pretend like I am ready for what is coming. I’m not. I am utterly terrified for my friends, for myself, for my partner, for my family, and for the country.
And today is the day that I have to watch this fear truly manifest; Donald Trump is being sworn in as president of the United States.
So once again, the conversation that I have been having over and over leading up to today is coming into mind. How will we survive.
Many of us are avoiding the internet today, and I don’t blame you. To be completely honest, I am too. This blog post was actually scheduled because I sat down Thursday night to write it just so that I wouldn’t have to log in to my computer on Friday. To be blunt, I simply can not cope with how incredibly disappointed in this country I am or how scared I am. And therefore, I will probably spend my day wrapped in a blanket, watching Netflix, and eating ice cream, because fuck.
But I do want to talk about what I plan to do in the coming 4 years, and possibly 8 if this somehow happens again next election (let’s be real, it probably will.)
I am going to protest.
Even the smallest of protests can have an effect. I used to be like so many others and felt like my voice didn’t matter and there was nothing I could do. And maybe alone there isn’t. I can keep typing on this keyboard and sharing to my few thousand blog readers, but what does that really do?
More than you think. Because one voice can be powerful, especially when it joins other voices who are saying the same thing. The louder we are, the easier we are to hear.
Am I going to guarantee results? No. But every fight had to start somewhere. Every great resistance started with people saying this isn’t ok.
I will educate myself as much as I can.
Too often we watch acts of racism and say nothing because we don’t realize that the things being said has roots in racism. For the past few years I have been trying to educate myself on the things such as racism, sexism, and bigotry in all forms, so that I can see these things in my day to day interactions and call them out.
At a time like this, taking the time to educate ourselves on the issues is the only way we can fight them. But I don’t just mean the political issues. Listen to the voices of others to see what you may not be seeing because it doesn’t affect you.
I am owning my privilege.
I am a white person, and therefore I have white privilege. I am educated, even if I didn’t go to college. My family and I live comfortably and don’t have to struggle too much to do so. While I am disabled and at times can’t walk, there are times that I am an able bodied person. And so much more.
Take time to learn about privilege and how it may affect your day to day life. I am still learning of various privileges I have. Because I know that in order to hear the voice of someone else and understand what they are going through, I need to understand the privileges I have that they do not.
I am focusing on love.
Honestly, I can’t imagine how my mental health will be sacrificed in the coming years. But to prepare, I am going to focus on love. Love for my partner, especially since I am getting married this year. Love for my family, and reminding them of that love as they continue to support me which puts them at risk. And love for those around me I know are struggling.
Hate won’t always win, even if it did this time.
And I will be as truly me as I can.
Because my best weapon is my ability to not fit in! And when I was younger, I confidently did so. Hopefully that confidence will reappear because I plan to be as true to myself as I can, and standing out in a society that tells me my existence is wrong. I won’t let them keep me from my happiness, and I will show the world how much happier I am to be me.
I would love to know your plans for getting through these coming years! Let me know in the comments below because I might add your ideas to my game plan of survival and fighting back!