The first story in my Don’t Silence Us series is from a woman who wants to be identified only as a 41 year old woman. She wrote the piece below in its entirety, and I have not edited or changed a word. If you choose to share this story, and help amplify her story, please use the hashtags #WereStillHere and #FixThisGOP
I wish I felt able to shout my name out loud and proud on this, but I don’t. As much of myself as I’ve laid bare, raw, open, bleeding, and vulnerable through my own writings, I just can’t right now.
I am terrified for our country and the world. Not just because of WHO we elected, but the fact that a majority of the people either felt his ideology was ok or that it was excusable enough to vote for him. I do not understand the level of hate and bigotry and entitlement that he embodies. I do not understand the ones who kept making it out that the fact he said “pussy” was the thing that riled people up and not the fact that he was leaving the concept of consent in a bloody heap on the ground. It’s not that he said pussy, it’s that he is totally cavalier about grabbing a woman without permission. It’s that we are condoning this to the younger generation. I don’t care if you say misogynistic attitudes are wrong. If you voted for him, you are telling boys that this is acceptable and the girls that it is to be expected. I don’t understand how we got to this place.
I could never vote for him. Not as a woman. And most especially, not as woman who has survived abuse, rape, and assault. I know what it’s like to have someone act as though I have no say as to what they do to my body, and to use violence to ensure I stay compliant. I could never vote for someone who embodies the morals, or lack thereof, of the ones who treated me this way.
I am horrified that someone like this was elected to be the face of our country. I’m gutted that people I know, respect, and love (and who say they love me) voted for him. I’m terrified for what this means for us all.
For several years, I lived (or actually just barely survived) in a situation where without food banks, bread ministries, and/or food stamps I would have starved. I know what it’s like to live with no air conditioning in the summer and no heat in the winter. I know what it’s like to live with no running water for months and to have to use precious food stamp money to buy jugs of water to bathe, eat, drink, and flush the toilet. I know what it is like to not have insurance and not be eligible for any kind of breaks or help. I know what it’s like to wait until I got sick enough I HAD to go to the ER because I could not afford a doctor that would make me pay upfront. I know what it’s like to feel ashamed of these things. Like they made me less than anyone else. And I know what it’s like to feel like I would never dig my way out of that pit.
Someone like him is from a totally different galaxy when it comes to things like that. That’s why it’s easy for him to want to cut programs even more. By doing so, how many more people will fall through the cracks like I did and so many others do?
It’s hard enough being in the LGBTQ community for me now. I cannot be openly so. Not with my family (who were all in the crowd that voted for him) and society in general around here. Maybe it’s cowardly on my part, but I’ve seen and heard too much hatred and violence towards anyone who is different. I don’t feel safe enough to be loud and proud. How much more will I have to conceal my identity? How much more will others feel smothered by the need to hide who they are just so they can stay alive or keep a roof over their heads or live without ConstAnt threats and judgment?
I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m terrified. I’m obliterated emotionally. And I’m worried that all the progress we’ve made in human rights and equality just got completely derailed and will be sent back into the dark ages.
I also pray to every higher entity that I am wrong.
In light of the results of Election 2016, not just who was elected President but the hateful platform adopted by his party who now hold control of both Congress and the Senate, I’ll be featuring stories told by those who feel marginalized and/or voiceless in our country. You can email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. All stories are shared in complete anonymity, unless otherwise requested by the owner of the story.