990 Words regarding 2016 Election!
For the last two days, I have been in a daze. I can tell you that the results of this election scare the crap out of me. I am not a Conservative Republican, nor am I a Liberal Democrat. I have always been and will remain a Moderate Independent. Being a Moderate Independent makes me no better, no worse than any of the other choices, but it is who I am.
Tuesday happened. For the first time, I regretted my choice to be a minister, I regretted the type of work I do, not because I no longer believe in either, but because I felt I could not speak authentically about my fear of what is to come. As a married Gay man I am scared, as a spiritual white man, I am scared. Full and open disclosure, I was not a huge fan of Hillary - I cannot even say I fully trusted her, nor that I thought she should have been the Democratic candidate, yet she was.
During the election I stayed quiet, I made no comments one way or the other; I did this because of the public profile that I have both as an author and the type of work I do. Not to mention the fact that I remain ever committed to my ministerial path and believe that ministers should stay clear of political issues as much as possible. Being inclusive means allowing others to understand their truth even when personally I disagree.
I do not entirely disagree with Trump on some of his issues; I did not fully agree with all of Hillary's ideas and plans. This election was not about Republican versus Democrat, male versus female. This election for me came down to one thing and one thing alone. It was about human decency and the overall message that one candidate has over the other. Trump scared me from day one and only seemed to get worse with each passing day. He pandered to the LGBT community while at the same time, vowed to turn back every advance that has happened, threatening my life, my liberty, and my marriage. Being supported by and surrounding himself with the very same lawmakers who have sought to deny, repress and otherwise destroy the lives of the LGBT community.
Trump systematically insulted, degraded and devalued every man, woman, and child who is not white, is not Christian, is not straight and not Republican. Lives matter. Each of your lives matters, as much as Gary's and my life matter. I listened to his speeches, and while I am too young to hear, as a lover of history, I heard echoes of a mad man from long ago. Trump's campaign and win opened the floodgates of hate, fear, and aggression. By his very example, he told the people of the United States that it was perfectly OK to say whatever you wanted, about anyone. Freedom of speech now means saying whatever is on your mind. Forgetting that just because you can is not to say you should. At first, I was angry and upset that 50% of my country voted against my civil rights, voted for discrimination against those of color, different religions, and faiths voted against woman and voted against equal rights and treatment for all. Then I saw that it was not 50%. Almost 50% of registered voters chose not to vote, of the registered voters that did vote, 24.47% voted to return to the days of old where those color rode at the back of the bus and being gay was a reason to fire and refuse housing. However, what about the other 50% that did not vote - what do you believe? Not voting feels like agreement, with the ability to say, “oh it was not me!” So as I see it, 75% of my beloved country would rather I did not exist or tolerates my existence as long as I remain in the shadows and do not expect my civil rights to be honored. Today, I am scared for my safety. Today I am afraid of what the future may hold. I am scared for what an entirely Republican government means for me and 99% of the rest of the country. Today, I look at each face, on the road, in the stores, at work, even my friends, and wonder.... should I be afraid?
I say today because I have a plan. I know what I am going to do. I will stand tall; I will reach deep within, and I will fight. I will find a way to support, encourage and safeguard my rights as well as yours. I will stand for equality, for love, for compassion, for respect, and for security, not just for me, but for each and every man, woman and child regardless of gender, orientation, color, religion or faith. I am not a label, we are not labels, yet if I must embrace my label, if I must stand with one label or another, then today I make my stand. I am not sure how I will do this yet. The how does not matter, it is the conviction that I will stand for equality for all as long as I am a free citizen living in this country. I believe in “equality” for the world, however, right now I am focused on my own back yard, my country. I hope you support me. Many of you understand what I am saying, many of you agree, while others, even on my social media list are a part of the 75% who decided that hatred, bigotry, and discrimination are acceptable in this country again. Let us remember that we are stronger together when we live in love, compassion, and gratitude. I pray for my homeland; I pray for my husband, and I pray that I find the courage to face strangers that I never had a reason to distrust before.