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Hold On to Each Other

Hold On to Each Other


More than any other time, we need to remember our real families — and our true ideals.

Let's not sugar-coat this: Tuesday, November 8 was a terrible, horrifying day. A man completely unprepared for the presidency — and one who often embraces the darkest aspects of human behavior — will take office in two months. Of course, we must strategize and take action to limit the damages that are very likely to arrive, be it attempts at reversing marriage equality or relegating all transgender people back to the closet.

Let's also not be completely apoplectic. While we won't have Hillary Clinton defending us, we will have other newly elected allies in positions of power, people like California senator Kamala Harris, Illinois senator Tammy Duckworth, and governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina, who defeated noted homophobe and transphobe Pat McCrory. 

Sure, that sounds like cold comfort. But we can't roll over and die. First, we should see this election for what it is: a massive pendulum swing from the previous progressive eight years. A black president, a female nominee, marriage equality, Caitlyn Jenner (wonder who she ended up voting for, by the way). The country was changing and, while many rural whites likely lamented their shrinking work and financial opportunities, many also resented how different the nation was beginning to look and feel.

Will it ever swing back? I hope so, I sincerely do.

Until then, at least until the midterm elections, we have to support each other. If we're not suffering right now, we know friends and family who are. Hug them, tell them we'll survive, even if you're not entirely convinced. Listen, Talk. Feed.

What we shouldn't do is blame each other and let go of the ideals we brought into this election. The messages of #StrongerTogether, of unity, of empathy still hold true. We can't let Donald Trump and his followers take those things from us. Picking fights on social media or getting lost in the comments on Politico are not worth your time now; it helps no one.

We survived the worst of the AIDS crisis. We survived George W. Bush. We'll survive Donald Trump, but let's not lose ourselves in the process.

NEAL BROVERMAN is the executive editor of The Advocate. Follow him on Twitter @nbroverman.

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Neal Broverman