With the 2016 election my identity was once again drilled into my head, but instead of validation, it told me that I didn't belong. The America that was built for progress, inclusivity, and prosperity, the America that embodies the “American Dream”— is not the America that Trump and his supporters envision. The America that I loved chewed up the identity of queer, people of color, women, immigrants and disabled people- and spat it right back in our faces under the guise of a vague promise to “Make America Great Again.”

For a split second last night I gave up on this country, I felt unsafe, and uncertain in the only place that I know well enough to call home. But my mother called me this afternoon, and she sounded hopeful. She reminded me of how strong my family is.  My father came to this country from Cyprus with no High School Diploma but graduated from college. My grandparents lived in Jim Crow South. My mother is a single African American mother of three. She reminded me that the odds have never been in our favor, but somehow we managed to succeed in so many ways.  My own perfect world, living in a city and going to Penn, clouded my view of the real America—the ones who blame minorities, immigrants, Muslims, gays and the disabled for their problems. But I know that I can count on all of us who will suffer from the Trump presidency to be there for each other, and while so much is out of our reach, our voices cannot be silenced. America may have let us all down, but I have confidence that we will all be there for each other—we’re all we got. 

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While I would not like to speak for everyone, I think it is safe to generally say that it can be hard to love yourself in America if you identify as any sort of minority or marginalized person.  While it’s always going to be hard to identify as an “other” there are some things that can make it better. Mainly from a majority of other factors, but partially as a result of Obama’s 8 year term, my identity as queer, mixed race, and as child of an immigrant felt validated and supported (to some extent) in America.

With the 2016 election my identity was once again drilled into my head, but instead of validation, it told me that I didn't belong. The America that was built for progress, inclusivity, and prosperity, the America that embodies the “American Dream”— is not the America that Trump and his supporters envision. The America that I loved chewed up the identity of queer, people of color, women, immigrants and disabled people- and spat it right back in our faces under the guise of a vague promise to “Make America Great Again.”

For a split second last night I gave up on this country, I felt unsafe, and uncertain in the only place that I know well enough to call home. But my mother called me this afternoon, and she sounded hopeful. She reminded me of how strong my family is.  My father came to this country from Cyprus with no High School Diploma but graduated from college. My grandparents lived in Jim Crow South. My mother is a single African American mother of three. She reminded me that the odds have never been in our favor, but somehow we managed to succeed in so many ways.  My own perfect world, living in a city and going to Penn, clouded my view of the real America—the ones who blame minorities, immigrants, Muslims, gays and the disabled for their problems. But I know that I can count on all of us who will suffer from the Trump presidency to be there for each other, and while so much is out of our reach, our voices cannot be silenced. America may have let us all down, but I have confidence that we will all be there for each other—we’re all we got. 


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