It’s been nearly 12 hours since it was announced that Donald Trump won the presidential election. I am feeling distraught and I am having difficulty putting my feelings into words. I feel distraught, sad, anxious, angry, and disappointed all at once. 

I had the tiniest feeling that Trump would win. I knew something had to be the cherry on top of the shit sundae that was the year 2016, but I was hoping to be proven wrong.

It feels like women, Muslims, people of color, the LGBTQ population, people with disabilities, and myself have all received death sentences. 

Admittedly, I was initially rooting for Bernie Sanders in the beginnings of the 2016 presidential campaign. I knew his ideas and propositions were radical and not entirely realistic, but I also knew that Sanders had been fighting for social justice since his early 20s. Given the fact that Hillary Clinton received more press and media coverage than Sanders, I promised that if he didn’t secure the nomination for the Democrat party, I would vote for Clinton.

I had known of Clinton’s reputation for being “crooked”, however, I had also known that she had been spending a lifetime trying to better the country. Clinton was a reasonable candidate to me. She’s experienced, she’s intelligent, she’s tough, and her scandals and accusations don’t nearly match the severity of those of Donald Trump. Voting for a third party candidate was never an option for me.

The idea of voting for a third party candidate may seem appealing, however, the possibility of them winning simply isn’t realistic. To be honest, I find those who are adamant about voting third party kind of selfish. If you’re confident about voting third party, you’re either consciously or subconsciously aware that your inherent privilege will protect you in the event that the unfavorable candidate wins. 

Also, I was very disappointed to learn that over 11,000 people wrote in “Harambe” on the ballot. For some people to write in the name of a dead gorilla while others have been fighting for years for the right to vote is incredibly dense, selfish, and immature. 

My heart hurts for my fellow people of color who woke up afraid to go about their daily lives. My heart hurts for my LGBTQ brothers and sisters who are fearing the possibility of electrocusive shock conversion therapy. My heart hurts for victims of rape and sexual assault who will have to spend the next four years living under the rule of a man who perpetuates that culture. My heart breaks for the children of undocumented immigrants whose parents are facing likely deportation. 

I’m not sure what the future of our country holds. I mean, I’m hopeful, but I was also hopeful that the end result of this election would see America moving forward. No matter what happens, I know I will never stop trying to make the country a better place. I promise, I will never stop being vocal about issues that matter. I will continue to support organizations and movements like Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, and the Human Rights Campaign. I will continue to vote in local and midterm elections.

As for now, all we can do is take things one day at a time. Today, we mourn and grieve. Tomorrow, we continue to fight for the greater good.