In the months leading up to the election, both my mom and my dad said to me in separate phone calls from Canada, “I think he might win.” In conversation we used the man’s name but I refuse to do that here, to taint this space with the name of a misogynist, a racist, a liar, an abomination. Both my parents followed the campaign and they were both concerned. But each time I responded with an adamant no. “It won’t happen,” I said. “A country that elected Barack Obama twice won’t elect this man. It’s not possible.”
On the night of the election I shared a photo on facebook of Hillary Clinton in a suit and rainbow sunglasses, riding a unicorn. “Let’s do this,” I wrote. Here was a woman who had spent her life serving others, a Yale-educated lawyer who worked with disabled kids while at the Children’s Defense Fund, who became the First Lady, a two-term Senator of New York, and the U.S. Secretary of State. I had watched her opponent, a narcissist with limited intellect and zero political experience, slag her repeatedly to his followers, physically stalk her on a debate stage, struggle to speak in full sentences, and spew hate and ignorance and lies over and over again, encouraging his followers to do the same. I had watched him mock and demean women, people of color, a disabled man. I had heard the tape of him bragging about sexual assault, and then after, the voices of his supporters defend him. I was disgusted. I was ready for the country to vote and in doing so to silence him, to show the world that this isn’t who we see as a leader, that this isn’t what we want for our future.