That while you seek safety, you do not endanger others. That while you seek control, you do not unleash chaos. That while you seek unity, you do not damn diversity. That while you seek policies, you do not forget people. That while you seek vision, you do not blind others. That while you seek comfort, you do not pass the afflicted.
To my friends who still feel afraid: I am ready to fight for us, annoyingly and boldly and stubbornly. And to those who are seeking the above and voted for change; please be careful.
Please try to understand that; the red on this ballot wasn't "Republican" at all. It wasn't about small/big government, or deficit, or immigration (though those were a part). The red on the ballot is what runs through our veins. And on election night, the results splayed messily, like a crime scene, across the map of an electoral college.
Let me be clear, though. While expressing my fear, I do not want to take away the humanity of others, no matter how strongly I feel threatened or afraid; there is something about ripping out hearts (even when my own has been pierced) that feels unjust, too. I will defend my heart and arms and love, but I will also try - my damn near hardest - to look my offender in the eye; to try, even at the darkest, to light a match. (This is my own personal call, and not - in any way - a mandate for those who have experienced violence or oppression.)
The Annoying Part: Not everyone who voted for this president-elect is an evil crazy person. [Though it could be easier to say so.] Parents voted; friends voted; families voted; people in cities voted. And this is perhaps the deeper sadness.
They (you, voter) are a living, breathing, human being too. And at some point, I have looked into your eyes; I have seen your pain, or excitement, or joy. I pray that you also remember my eyes. I pray that (at some point), the cry for change that you so deeply wanted, also includes my freedoms, and my friends and loved one's freedoms - and the safety of us all.
Do not make America unsafe again. Do not make America hate or enslave or regress again.
[Please call for and exemplify safety for LGBTQ people, especially our Transgender family members. Please call for and exemplify safety for Muslim people. Please call for and exemplify safety for the Black community. Please call for and exemplify safety for those that do not look like White America. This is not a calling out of your whiteness or privilege for the purpose of embarrassment, this is a moment where you absolutely - positively - need to recognize such privilege, and respond. Not because anyone wants to make you feel bad, but because there are people who have no other choice but to be unsafe, and to feel threatened because of the way they look. Stand with them. See them. Love them and invite them into your homes. Fight for them.]
I have experienced rich discourse with Republicans, non-affirming Christians (within the LGBTQ debate), and everyone in between on many different issues.
This is the America I knew and know.
A place where the scariest thing about coming out, was an existential question of my faith and not my safety. A place where holding my girlfriend's hand wasn't followed by threats. A place where my presentation as an LGBTQ person wasn't something I feared being taunted or threatened about (though it has happened).
The words people use are important. "Worthy" and "Whole" changed my life. So did "Shame" and "Be Quiet".
If one person calls someone a name, and no one responds, something grows. It is ivy, and it is quick. When one person calls someone a name, and they are affirmed or celebrated, something grows even quicker. It is like fire on dry brush.
Do not make America unsafe again. Do not stand for bullying, exclusion, or hate.
If you truly voted based on policy, I understand you have this right. I also ask that you understand that your right to vote for policy, has now affected people who have to think far beyond policy, and into their everyday livelihood and bodies.
As a Christian, I will not stand for bullying, exclusion, or hate.
As an LGBTQ person, I will not stand for bullying, exclusion, or hate.
As a Latina Woman, I will not stand for bullying, exclusion, or hate.
As an American Citizen, I will not stand for bullying, exclusion, or hate.
No matter who you voted for, please join me in this call. And, if ever you cast a vote that is solely based on policy, or about regaining/maintaining comfort, I challenge you to talk to someone who casts their vote based on safety, or fear for self. I'm not sure how we got here, but I guess this is what I needed to say. I guess this is a step forward.
[First of these "steps": Zero tolerance policy on hate or violence around you - no matter who endorses or speaks it. The end.]