I still have a mouth and a throat and a voice

I posted this on facebook this morning as I’m still dealing with the shock of it all. I wanted to put this here too. In the past I’ve been afraid of putting myself out there too much online in a public forum because I was afraid of exposing myself to the vitriol and doxxing and hate out there. I don’t want to put myself or anyone I love in danger just because I decided to speak up. But what yesterday means is that I no longer feel safe and accepted in my country. This election has legitimized hate in so many different ways and I can no longer in good conscience let my hope and optimism, that people are good and everything will turn out for the best, silence me.

I am a different person this morning than I was yesterday. I vow to never let myself become complacent again. There is too much at stake.

You know what’s really getting to me this morning?

That half the country feels I deserve to die if I lose my job. You know what Obamacare did? It made it so if I lose my job and employer health plan, I couldn’t be denied health insurance for my pre-existing autoimmune disease, which can, and has twice now, tried to kill me.

That half of the country sees the field I work in as a ivory tower cabal that’s out to destroy their faith. I can’t imagine what might happen to sciencefunding, and my ability to make a living and feel secure enough in my company’s future (see previous point). I can’t imagine the damage to be done to the planet, and the humanity on this planet, when we’re already past so many tipping points. When researchers who are trying to solve the problems of disease and starvation have their funding gutted because science-illiterate, conspiracy theory-loving nut jobs are in charge of the national budget from top to bottom.

That half of the country sees me as less that human because I love my girlfriend. How else could they have elected into office Mike Pence, who single-handedly sparked an HIV outbreak in Indiana because he believed that gay people didn’t need treatment, they needed better morals. Seriously. Read up on him. He’s an anti-science, religious fundamentalist, homophobic bigot. And he’s next in line now.

That my body does not belong to me. That I do not have the right to choose to not have children. That I do not have the right to say who is allowed and not allowed to touch me.

Yes, I am white. I am comfortably middle class. The kinds of tax policies Trump has been hinting at (there wasn’t a single detailed plan anywhere in that campaign) would benefit me. But they would benefit me over MOST.

I’m a socialist and a liberal at heart. I believe that people are fundamentally good and that everyone has hard days, and we should do our best to help each other out however we can, and I’m always happy to have my taxes go to social programs and improving both my local and national community. I would gladly give more in taxes if it meant that science, education, social safety nets, infrastructure and medicine benefited us all.

What last night taught me is that half of this country hates me for believing this. That Half of the country doesn’t believe that we ALL deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That half of this country wants me to shut my mouth and step in line and happily die because that must mean that I was lazy or I deserved it or I didn’t do adequate push ups to be able to use my bootstraps properly.

I am afraid of what will happen to me and the people I love.

Believe me when I say that I will not go down without a fight. I will not let you go down without a fight. I will not let the overwhelming hate and invalidation I feel from half of this country shut my mouth and make me fall in line with their fearful and small-minded values.

We are better than this and we can be better than this.

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