Inspiration and comfort can come from all sorts of places, including Instagram. As I scrolled through my feed this morning, I was both inspired and comforted by the approach so many people I follow were taking.
It wasn’t a doom and gloom, end of days panic. It wasn’t bitterness or anger (although maybe that’s coming). And because of who I choose to follow, there wasn’t any nasty, sexist or misogynistic commentary about Hillary.
Instead, there was a lot of good advice, hope and solace to be found. I thought I’d share it with you to help you process, in some small way, the US election result.
Two of the key takeaways from me? … As awful and scary as the prospect of a Trump presidency may seem right know, firstly: let’s keep an open mind and see how things play out.
This is truly unprecedented territory on so many levels. We really have no idea where this will go, or what he will (or can) actually do and implement. Given the power of the office, I’m open to holding out hope for a positive agenda and approach. Yes, that’s naive and I’ll admit, probably unlikely, but so much rides on this that at this point, it’s the best option I’ve got.
Secondly: (and I feel like I’ll be writing about this some more later), maybe this is the wake up call “we” – gays, women, blacks, minorities – need.
Maybe we’ve become too complacent about our progress and the hard fought rights we’ve been attaining over the years. Perhaps we operate better against the very real backdrop of an assault or removal of those rights to galvanise us into action and actual real and genuine progress? Too early to tell at this stage, so stay tuned.
And now, here are some awesome Instagrammers sharing their take on things. I hope you find this at least a little comforting as we all continue to process one of the biggest WTFs in modern political history.
Take a lot of time today to process what has happened, and reach out for help when you need it. Let the emotions in – anger, disappointment, sadness, fear, whatever is coming up for you – and process them in healthy ways. Find the people that will hold the space for you, and let yourself feel what you’re feeling.
Don’t run from the emotions or avoid them with a destructive habit. Everything you are feeling is normal and valid, it just needs to be let in and processed. Use the emotional energy to bring you closer to the people around you. Ask for help instead of isolating.
And after you have given yourself a lot of space to feel, remember that today is not the end of anything. Maybe a step back, but also a call to action. Accept disappointment, but always hold onto hope. Remember that we as a community are more equipped to deal with adversity than anyone. If nothing else, we are resilient.
We will fight for our rights and make our voices heard like we always have, and love will win out in the end.
For anyone feeling lost, sad, excluded, or scared right now, please remember that there are resources online that are here specifically to help; please do not hesitate to reach out to @trevorproject and @itgetsbetter to talk.
And, to the young LGBTQIs: you are an important part of a beautiful community that loves you. We have fought through terrible times and we will fight through these.
Sulking isn’t productive for me. The views of the president elect do not represent my own, but as Hillary said, “never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” Keep letting your voices be heard. Love your neighbours. All of them.
I don’t want to get out of bed today…
While today many of us may be uncertain about what’s to come, we must remember that our work does not begin or end with the presidency. It’s in our families and communities and workplaces. It’s in our everyday interactions.
This election brought our country’s deep divisions into sharp relief. More than ever, we need to go high. We need to understand why so many citizens feel disenfranchised and disconnected from the progress, multiculturalism and optimism we have experienced over the past several years. We must remember that life is full of struggle and possibility, including the possibility of a future that is much brighter than the one we woke up to.
I underestimated the level of misogyny that persists today. I thought we were better than this. I still hold out hope that we can be. But, right now, my heart aches for a woman who spent her adult life working towards this achievement that should have been hers.
For many of us, it’s a dark day. I know that you’re looking for something to hold on to. I know that it seems the world is targeting all of the outliers. Hang tough. We are in this together.
I wear kilts because it makes it easier for the world the kiss my ass.
Let’s get out there and grab life by the balls (which is also easier in a kilt.) Let’s try to keep our heads together and move forward.