Tuesday night, Nov. 8, Katie and I went out and grabbed a bite to eat and got it “to go” so we could go home and watch the election results. It was supposed to be a “done deal” for Hillary.
We settled in — and then watched in horror as one state after another turned red. I couldn’t take it anymore and went to bed around 10:30, and quite literally cried myself to sleep.
This was, for me, a worst-case scenario. I am scared, I’m angry and I feel let down by people who I thought cared about their fellow human beings. But those of us on the left side of the political spectrum vastly underestimated the anger of uneducated white America.
The backlash over the last eight years and the ever-increasing “encroachment” of LGBT, immigrant and racial equality has apparently made enough of them mad enough to hurl a flaming dumpster at the system.
I personally don’t believe they think Trump will make their lives better. But they damn well believe Trump will make the establishment pay dearly.
Facebook was hard to take. I unfriended a number of people. I truly feel that if you vote for Trump, that is an act that is incompatible with being my friend.
This isn’t political difference of opinion; I welcome that. This is about my safety, my health and the ability to marry the woman I love. If you deny me those things, you are not my friend.
I used to work in Sacramento on a news/talk station (among others) and on their site Wednesday morning, the host had made a post about the election and asking listeners their reaction. A man named Eric P. (A white male heterosexual Trump supporter) commented: “Tax rates notwithstanding, is this really going to affect us personally?”
That sentence sums up white male hetero privilege in a nutshell.
No, Eric, Trump may not affect you personally, but for many others you never give a moment’s thought to, hell yes it affects us!
Let me explain a few ways how:
- My dear friend Ethel, with whom I worked closely in Houston for five years, was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. She was in tears at the thought of Trump’s promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, since no insurance company would cover her without it. She doesn’t want to die. I don’t want her to either.
- I am transgender. Prior to the ACA, I was unable to get health insurance of any kind. That’s personal.
- A trans male student, Gavin Grimm, has a case before the Supreme Court that now will be moot. Gavin just wants to go to the bathroom in the boys’ room at school. Now, because of Trump winning, he probably won’t be able to.
- It’s extremely likely the federal protections for LGBT employees will be stripped away. New Vice President Pence has a deep-seated hatred of the LGBT community and a track record as governor of Indiana to back it up. That affects a lot of people personally.
- Title IX and Title VII may also be weakened with more protections against sex discrimination claims and the floodgates for more anti-transgender laws will swing open. Add in Mr. Trump’s promise to reverse the executive orders of President Obama, which could end protection for transgender employees in the federal government and their contractors.
- Parents of trans kids are trying to explain to them what happened. Many of these kids are in hysterics. Losing a child to suicide because they feel the president hates them is pretty “personal,” Eric.
- African-American people seeing the KKK openly celebrating affects them personally.
- Immigrants who are in the country legally on a green card face uncertain futures. That’s personal, Eric.
- My 9-5 job, Eric, is helping people with HIV navigate the confusing world of health insurance. My clients are scared, I hold them in my arms and reassure them as best I can. They are afraid without the ACA, they will be uninsurable. That affects them personally, Eric.
- Parents who raise their children to not be bullies, to be honest, to respect other people are at a loss as to what to tell their children when a dishonest, mysogynistic, xenophobic bully is now the president. That’s personal.
- My own daughter called me this morning; she is a white, female heterosexual mother of three children who feels so let down. She was angry. Her two daughters, ages 5 and 7, had come home from school telling her that they didn’t want the girl to win because she killed people. Who at that school is telling that to a 7-year-old? That affects people personally.
- I used to be a morning show radio disc jockey. But if video ever surfaced of my saying what Trump said with Billy Bush, I’d have been fired. Hell, the manager of a Motel 6 who said that would be fired. Pretty much anyone who worked for a company with an ounce of decency would never tolerate that kind of language and behavior from one of their employees.
Ands yet, we put that in the White House? Seriously America?
So there you are Eric P. — a whole lot of people who are deeply, personally affected in horrific ways by the specter of a President Trump who intends on keeping his promises. We wish the only worry we had was tax rates. Lucky you!
For us, our best hope is that Trump ends up being the same horse’s ass as president as he was in private life and that his campaign promises mean the same as those he made to countless contractors and employees.
Oh, and Eric — I hope your taxes go through the roof.
Leslie McMurray, a transgender woman, is a former radio DJ who lives and works in Dallas. Read more of her blogs at lesliemichelle44.wordpress.com