Especially if you hope Trump wins
I put my ten-year-old to bed last night before Texas had been counted. He doesn’t quite understand electoral votes completely, but he was concerned.
“Mom, if Trump wins, will you and Liza get married right away, just in case?”
His eyes were watery. He was trying to be brave.
“A wedding would just be really fun, you guys love each other. You should just get married… it would be fun.”
He was trying to be cool, calm. Pretending a wedding sounded like a fun party, and that we should go ahead and do that right away.
“Honey, I don’t think we need to worry about that tonight. I don’t think we’ll need to do that. I don’t think gay marriage is going to get overturned.”
“But if it does, what will happen to the people who are already married? Are they going to like, not be married anymore?”
“I don’t know sweetheart. I really don’t know. But really, I don’t think we’re going to have to find out. It’s going to be okay.”
We said goodnight, I kissed and hugged him, walked out, and closed the door behind me.
Liza is my partner. A woman I love more than I have ever loved any man. Including the one I was legally and lawfully married to for fourteen years.
As I shut the door, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. If I’m having this conversation with my child, how many other moms and dads are having the same conversation tonight? How many little kids are going to bed scared that their parent’s love and marriage is somehow going to be gone in the morning?
My heart broke. I told him I didn’t think that was going to happen. Did I really think that? I don’t know. I hope that… but I don’t know what I think.
I came back to the living room and decided I would watch results until 11:00 pm and that after that I should get some sleep. The votes have been cast. Nothing I do or say now is going to matter. I know I have to take care of my mental and emotional well being.
It’s November, 4th and the polls are incredibly close. Millions of people are close to being very upset. We just don’t know which millions those are yet.
I am trying to stay off of social media because I am the most liberal person I know within a 500-mile radius. Most of the people in my circle want a different outcome than me.
And that hurts. That’s what has been the hardest most painful part about the last several months. Knowing that people I know and love are voting in direct opposition to my family.
I wonder if they think about the conversations I have with my kids. I wonder if they think about the watery eyes of my ten-year-old and what a Trump win could mean for him?
I wonder if they’re reminding their kids to be kind if Biden loses. If they’re teaching them that lots of people big and small will be sad.
I wonder if they’re even reminding themselves that? Do they know what this means for my family? If their marriage was in danger, would they want me to vote in order to save it?
I’m mostly okay. I know that I can’t control the outcome of this election. I know I did my part, voting even though in my red state my vote really doesn’t matter. I voted because it’s my duty to stand up for my beliefs, and not voting would mean I didn’t really care that much.
I am mindful of my emotions and the way they’re swinging up and down. I’m mindful of my thoughts and what stories they’re telling me. I’m trying not to tell the story I’m tempted to tell about Trump supporters. I’m trying to understand that they’re human and they have strong convictions. I’m trying to tell myself they really don’t know any better and if they simply had the right information, they’d see the light.
That story is really hard to tell. Because I don’t believe parts of it.
They’re human and they have strong convictions. Yes, that’s true.
I am waiting as patiently as I can for the results. I’m hoping for a certain outcome, but honestly expecting a different one.
If Trump wins, I have just one request.
Please, remember. This is bigger than taxes and Wall Street for some of us. Your gloating will sting. It’ll sting not because you won, but because it makes us feel like you don’t care. That our teary bedtime conversations are somehow less than. That our pain and sadness don’t matter to you.
I hope it does. I hope that even though you voted against us, you still have the decency to care. I hope you understand that the thought of not being able to marry and raise children just like you is a really heartbreaking thought for us. It makes us feel unseen, unloved, unvalued.
So whatever happens. I am sincerely pleading with you, don’t gloat. Make sure your elementary and middle school kids aren’t gloating. Check on your neighbors who supported Biden. Check on the people in your circle whose lives will be affected by this loss. Check on those you know that are POC. They’re upset, but mostly they’re scared. Realize that, and reach out in love.
Think about my little ten-year-old. Think about how he couldn’t get to sleep last night because he doesn’t know what is going to happen next. Make the world safe for him, and for all of us who don’t know what this means for our families.
Nothing tells more about a person or team than how they treat their opponent after a loss. Trump supporters, show us that you really are All American God-fearing people, and show some love.