Until this afternoon, I thought the idea of Donald Trump becoming President of the United States of America was some cruel, sick joke, or a convoluted test for humanity to prove themselves.
Until this afternoon, I felt safe.
I came home shortly after the news was announced, after being out without internet, and the first thing I saw was a text from my nineteen-year-old sister.
“Please, PLEASE write about this.”
And if I’m honest, I wasn’t going to write about it. The last thing I want to be is cliché, or worse, uninformed or insensitive. Neither do I want to perpetuate our communal grief, shock, sadness, pain and fear.
But I owe it to my sister and to everyone to try my best.
I could explain in horrific detail the consequences of this shocking event, but you’ve no doubt already heard it all.
Instead, I want to use the influence my writing has to say this:
This is, in my simplest words, a tragedy. This was unimaginable and it is now unpredictable, but, like in everything, I believe there is hope.
I’m not saying you have a choice over whether you have your pussy grabbed, or whether a racist megalomaniac tries to kick you out of your own country.
I’m saying what this election has shown us more than anything is that there is power in numbers. There is power in standing up for what is right, and when you believe in something enough, you can make it happen.
Though this logic can and has been used against us, let it be your beacon in this dark time. Let it be a hand for you to hold through the treachery and the pain, and if you find this hand is slipping from your grasp, keep reaching out. Because someone, somewhere, is reaching out their hand as well, and in holding each other, you will hold up the world.
You, you right there behind your screen, are strong. And if you don’t believe me, look up from your screen, or open Facebook or look at your text messages and take a second to notice everyone around you, everyone you have ever seen, have ever loved. Look up and realise that alone, you are strong, but together, we are stronger.
I’m a teenage girl in Australia. I am not as strong as I wish I was and alone, there is little I could possibly do to brighten this dismal, four-year sentence.
But I promise, with every fibre of my being, with every ounce of love in my heart, I stand with you.
I stand with you against racism. I stand with you against queerphobia. I stand with you against misogyny. I stand with you against violence, sexual and otherwise.
I, and everyone I love, stands with you.
Every time you oppose someone being hateful, even if it’s a stupid meme, we win. Every time you speak up about what’s right, even if it’s to your cat, we win. Every time you live authentically, even if it’s for a second, even if it’s in your bedroom, we win.
He’s won the battle, but we will win the war. The war against hate.
And to that seed of doubt that still nestles in your head, hear this: Love has to win. I have to believe that. I don’t have another choice, because if I want to live my life – and fuck, I want to live my life – I have to believe that love will win.
I hope you believe that, too.