It is November 9, 2016, 7:23 am. Seven hours ago, I saw Donald Trump win the presidency of the United States. I watched as states turned red. I watched as people of color, LGBT people, disabled people, and Muslims sobbed–many of them my friends.
7:23 am – I’m awoken by a phone call. It’s a friend of mine. He’s sobbing into the phone. His girlfriend was attacked on her train to school. Her attacker pulled her hair and grabbed her breast hard enough to leave a bruise. He called her a n*gger. He told her she couldn’t do anything about it because the president would protect him.
9:17 am – I get an IM. It’s another friend. He is Sikh. He tells me he’s in the hospital at the moment. While he was biking to work, a truck of Trump supporters swiped him with cheers of “Make America great again!” He has a broken femur and three fractured fingers. He sends me pictures. I feel sick.
10:41 am – My Chinese professor stands in front of 40+ stony-faced students. 80% of them are people of color. She asks us to stand in a circle and hold hands. We share stories. We cry. We’re afraid, but there’s comfort in having each other. I tell them about my friends. They hug me. We cry some more.
12:07 pm – Another friend texts me. She wants to be proud as she wears her hijab today. But it was torn from her head.
2:44 pm – Six of us students find the will to make it to class. We discuss what’s to happen next and what we can do. No one really knows where to go from here.
4:47 pm – Friends of mine who supported Trump tell me I’m being dramatic. I tell them about the friends who’ve been hurt. They say not all Republicans are like that. I agree. But my friends were still attacked. More people are being assaulted. I ask them to defend those of us in danger. They agree. I ask them to defend us politically, even when Trump says they shouldn’t. They don’t think Trump would really follow through. I show them his 100-day plan. They look perturbed.
6:45 pm – People say nothing’s changed yet. But things have changed. My friends bleed. They are afraid for their lives. The world may not be ending, but I must confront that many people, people close to me, could die from hate crimes.
7:36 pm – A white friend says that he plans to move to Canada. I ask him not to. We need his support.
It is November 9, 2016. We are Americans before we are Democrats or Republicans. All of us need to protect our people–especially our people of color, our Muslim brothers and sisters, our LGBT people, our disabled, our women and children. They will be targeted. Democrat, Republican, or independent–we need to support each other.
It is November 9, 2016. I am a queer person of color. This is my country. And I will fight for it.