To Hold a Candle in the Darkness

I was up late last night, hanging on to minuscule and unlikely shreds of hope. I was up early this morning, stirring with a strange mixture of fear and disbelief, as if from a terrible dream that followed me, clawing, into waking life.

I thought about my Mom, who is in the hospital right now, and couldn’t help but wonder: what will we do if something happens to my Dad? How will my sister and I take care of her if this party’s promise to dismantle healthcare goes forward?

I thought about my husband, who cried with me last night and who cried with me this morning. And I wondered: what happens if Donald Trump’s promise to appoint a Supreme Court Justice who’ll overturn marriage equality goes forward?

I thought about my Muslim and Latino friends, my disabled friends, who have been publicly and repeatedly bullied, disparaged, embarrassed, and threatened by our new President-elect and his supporters over the course of the last year, and I wondered: what will I be able to do for them if Donald Trump’s example about how we treat people in this country continues to go forward?

I thought about my female friends who have been sexually harassed, who have been abused, who have been assaulted, who have been raped, and I wondered: how did we get to a point in this country where we would put a man who openly brags about taking these actions against women, and who has promised to overturn their rights to their own bodies, into the highest, most respected and awe-inspiring office in the world?

I thought about being mad, but I’m not mad. I thought about being confused, but I’m not confused. I thought about being shocked, but I’m not shocked. If I’m anything, I am terribly sad.

I’m sad because people who say they love me just voted for two men who want to invalidate my marriage.

I’m sad because people who say they love me just voted for a Vice President who thinks I can be “converted” to normalcy, who thinks I don’t need to be served equally in the marketplace, and who thinks I’m not “fit” to hold a job because of my sexuality.

I’m sad because people who say they love my husband just voted for a man who kicked-off his campaign by calling people like my husband and his family rapists and murderers.

I’m sad because people who say they didn’t vote “for” Trump but “against” politics as usual just voted to keep the same party in control of Congress that has been in control of it for the last six years, making their claim either totally ignorant or totally false.

I’m sad because people who say they love me refuse to see me. Refuse to hear me. Refuse to acknowledge my pain. I’m sad because when they say, “it will be okay,” they only mean okay for themselves and for people like them; “it will be okay” is an empty promise that people who have nothing real to offer make to those who they cannot or will not help.

I’m sad because people who say they love me just made it clear that not only do they not understand how many of us are truly not okay, but they care so little about us that they actively voted for people who want to make us less okay. To put us at greater risk. To choose leaders who want to make us less equal.

Maybe the next four years will be wonderful. Maybe the next four years will be awful. No one can say for sure what will happen. But what I do know for sure, now, is how little we really value people in this country. How little we respect the experiences, the difficulties, the struggles, and the inequalities faced by those who are not like us. I know we are broken.

So, I’m not angry, though perhaps I should be. I’m not shocked or confused, because I think most of us have seen this coming. But I am sad. And I am in pain. Not because my candidate lost, but because people who want to erase me and so many others, have won.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” There are so many candle-holders in my life. And I’ll continue trying to be one, too. Even when the dark is so very heavy.

6 thoughts on “To Hold a Candle in the Darkness

  1. I’m lighting a candle with you Adam. Very sick and sad, at how low the narcissistic, self-centered, and superficial values of many people have led us too. I hang on to hope and commit more than ever to going on endeavoring to sow love and peace around me

  2. Beautifully written, Adam. Today was a hard day. I’m sad as well. I was naive enough to believe that love would trump hate in the end. I don’t know what to say, quite, and you don’t know me outside of social media – but I want to tell you that I hear you and I cry with you and your husband. Your marriage is a true and valid bond and I stand with you and the entire LGBT community, as your ally, ready to fight like hell if this government tries to withdraw its acknowledgement of that truth and validity. solidarity.

  3. Across many oceans, many of us stand by you and your marriage and everything you stand up for and we will continue to do so for every single “others” against this global epidemic of narcissist, narrow minded and racist leadership across geographies!

  4. This is such a beautiful and heartbreaking post. I stand beside you and promise you hear and now that I will be part of the fight to make sure that your marriage stays valid, that people continue to recognize that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, that all of the freedoms and civil liberties we all enjoy remain in existence for the next four years. Whether I take up that fight through money, words, time, or all three, I will be there.

  5. What a beautiful post, and you articulated so much of what we are all feeling. I was horrified (but not surprised) to see that ending marriage equality and even “conversion therapy” are in the Republican platform. Just know that so many of us are behind you in this fight.

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