After Trump Won: What This Long-Lived Lesbian Did Next

hillary clinton

Our Facebook and Twitter posts were mournful, personal, and deeply useless

In the last column, I talked about working on the Hillary campaign and how sure we all were of her win. We were looking forward to celebrating a great change for the USA, for women, and much of the world. We were sure, right up until late on the night of November 8th,  that we’d soon be saying, “Madame President.”

Only we were wrong.

Late in the evening of Election Day, I went to another election party with a handful of neighbors and friends. We were at first jubilant, and then worried, and then nearly silent. I changed my drink from seltzer to wine. People started to go home, quietly. I was the last person to leave, the longest one to hold onto hope, watching the returns even as the hostess was putting away the festive food and drink.

We all know what happened next. But it’s what happened AFTER that is most important. A few days of mourning, phone calls, and outraged posts on Facebook and Twitter later, I became aware of the mournful, personal, and deeply useless nature of 99% of the posts I was seeing and sharing.

On about day three, I saw a post by a woman called Meg. She wrote about her job, teaching self-defense to women, and how she felt about empowering women to fight back against oppression and violence. Her current workshop, scheduled for shortly after the election, was filling up. After Trump’s win it was overflowing with new students who wanted, needed, and were going to learn to defend themselves. The teacher’s attitude was energetic and determined, not weak and defeated.

After reading what Meg said, I changed. I decided to fight back to do everything I can to prevent this bully and his administration of racists and homophobes from taking away our civil rights, from undermining our hard-won successes in tolerance and peaceful co-existence.

These are some of the actions I’ve taken so far:

  1. Worn a safety pin (designed by a friend with a small turtle ornament, for community and clan) to symbolize my feelings about keeping safe spaces for women and minorities.
  2. Called Paul Ryan’s office again to express support for Obamacare on behalf of myself and my elderly mother; pasted instructions for doing so onto my Facebook account and asked friends to do the same.
  3. Attended a gathering of Democratic women in Sarasota, Florida, and gave handouts encouraging them to call our representatives.
  4. Called my state representatives and left a message asking him to object to Stephen Bannon’s appointment; written and printed out instructions telling local friends how to call him and do the same.
  5. Contacted my local Planned Parenthood office and applied to become a volunteer.
  6. Donated to NARAL in Mike Pence’s name (the donations so far in his name are over $150,000!)
  7. Donated twice to to support the petition asking electoral college voters to elect Hillary

This morning, as I was writing this column, a friend sent me a photo of a bench near my own house, bearing KKK graffiti and saying “Deport Mexicans.”

Our local paper printed a story of graffiti up and down the main street of this small, purportedly safe beach town. The next thing I will do is write a letter to the editor of the paper, saying that I will stand against hatred and intolerance, and that our community must not tolerate hate speech or hateful actions.

And the tomorrow and the next day after that, I will keep fighting for what’s right.

Next time: Interview with Meg Stone, lesbian activist, writer, and self-defense instructor.