First, we mourn then we rise.
It’s ok to mourn – this is a scary time for a lot of people. It’s ok to feel the weight of this because right now this is heavy stuff. Many people feel unwelcomed in a nation they call home. Our culture(s) and progress feel threatened. And it’s not about a candidate losing… it’s far more personal than that. It’s about your neighbors and fellow countryman actively choosing a platform that promised to oppress you… whoever you are, in whatever minority you find yourself.
It’s ok to mourn – this isn’t something you can sweep under the rug and pretend didn’t happen. You will face many people who don’t understand but will try. Give them grace as they do. And you will face people who tell you to get over it. They need grace too, but it will be much harder. I understand that.
It’s ok to mourn – and you aren’t alone in it. I, too, am trying to process how I look the people I love in the eyes who chose this. It’s not just me. The MySilentHalf inbox has gotten to over 400 emails now. Many of us are scared. Many of us feel unwelcomed. And far, far too many people feel unloved…
“… how do I sit across from them this Thanksgiving and act grateful for the pain they voted was ok for me to go through”
“I’m scared of the hate that will blow up in my town. If I thought it was finally safe to come out I was wrong. A transwoman was egged today on my way to school.”
“My parents voted for Trump because they didn’t want to be the odd man out in their church group. Am I suppose to tell my daughter that grandma chose peer pressure over her and her father’s human rights?”
“My Facebook feed is full of hate today. People saying they hope we move and laughing at our expense. These were my friends, what do I do now? Am I supposed to pretend this doesn’t crush me?”
It’s ok to mourn – it’s human. It’s healthy. It’s needed. I’m so sorry that in the midst of what should be a celebration for our nation, you find yourself hurting. I’m so sorry that while others cheer, you are choking back fear of what the future holds. Right here, right now there are two very important things you need to know: You are not alone. And you are deeply, astronomically loved.
It’s ok to mourn – do not let anyone take that away from you. You do whatever you need to do to process. Processing takes work and you, my friend, are worth it. You owe it to yourself to battle through this. We need you on the other side.
Tomorrow we rise.
Tomorrow is a figurative time frame, one that looks at the days after this present moment. Once we allow ourselves to grieve and work through this, we must move forward. Moving forward is not forgetting. It is an awareness that action must now take place. It is an awareness that we have felt the depths of what this decision means and now we are moved to act.
Tomorrow we rise. As we pray that this new president is not the man he claimed to be throughout his campaign… as we pray that he values the lives of ALL he will govern, we cannot sit idol. We cannot let a platform of judgment, hate, and negative rhetoric break or divide us. Instead, my greatest hope is that despite all of that this makes us stronger. Time after time as human rights have progressed forward they have done so because brave men and women were moved to act. They participated in dialogue around their story and the story of so many.
Tomorrow we rise. You are more than the perception of someone else. You are more than the scars on your arms and the bruises this election has left on your heart. You are a collection of memories and memories to be made. And all of this adds up to an incredibly important piece to the next puzzle we are going to map out together. Let us all be brave enough to lay our piece of the story onto the table. Human rights, civil rights, the LGBTQ community, and the rest of our family in this minority circle are not just a clump of unknowns. We have faces and names and experiences. We are living, breathing stories. We are Americans too.
Tomorrow we rise. As hate fills your screens, as flags of segregation are lifted in towns where fear was already present, and as questions circle your own hearts – we will rise. Let us match hate with grace. Let us not let them forget we are human, and in the same breath, let us not forget they are human too. The radical task ahead of us is to never forget that. And if they are human, then they have a chance to grow just as much as we do. This will take time. This will take healing. This will take courage.
Tomorrow we rise. Let us not script the ending of a story that has yet to start, but let us not be passive either. Together let’s search each day with hope. Hope for a better tomorrow, hope for the movement of grace, and hope for a nation in desperate need of healing.