I haven’t cried in years, a fact in-and-of-itself that is amazing given all our family has been through. Short of some tears welling in my eyes for animal shelter commercials that never fail to yank at my heartstrings, I have remained stoic. So you can imagine my surprise when, as I sat at the computer this morning reading my newsfeed, that I broke down in tears. Not just little sniffling tears, but sobs, deep heaving sobs that caused our dog to cower and our two cats to come running, their curiosity piqued by the unfamiliar sound.
And I couldn’t stop.
The tears flowed, pooling on the floor beneath me, the magnitude of last night’s election finally hitting me square between the eyes like a sledgehammer causing a bell to ring on a carnival midway.
What I realized in that moment, was that the naïve bubble in which I had been living for a good part of 51 years had been viciously burst by two brutal facts: That my intrinsic belief in the goodness of others was irreparably damaged, and that my child’s well-being was now and indefinitely in jeopardy.
And I couldn’t breathe.
The stark reality of the party ‘s platform soon to be in control took my breathe away, as I thought about Sam’s rights and all the children like him that follow… basic human rights the rest of us take for granted, like using public restrooms and locker rooms of their affirmed gender. To be legally protected against bullying and harassment because they are often the victims of verbal and physical abuse. To be free of discrimination in the workplace, when buying a home and seeking medical treatment.
And my hopes changed.
I will be the first to admit I dislike essays like this one, poor-me musings that portray only doom and gloom on the horizon, but it needed to be said because of what happened last night. To those that voted for this man, my hope for you is that you will never experience the deep-seated fear for your child that I feel today, and that your knowledge and understanding about trans people borne from knowing my son and our family, will allow you to find the strength to defend his rights, even when many of those who cast the same vote will not.