Queerly Beloved: Gem Sheps

_DSC4416This column will reach a changed America.

I am writing this just moments after voting in my first presidential election. It was painful, both literally and physically; I had to stand in line for 30 minutes, which is not easy for someone with chronic pain conditions to do. And while inching down the hallway I had to listen to people—jokingly and, unforunately, seriously—calling out “Trump 2016!”

As a queer, disabled, Jewish person, I’m terrified for my life.

Whether or not Trump has been elected, his campaign of hate and supremacy has changed America for the worse. He has encouraged prejudice in his followers, creating a cult-like environment that is not dissimilar to the 1930s: people of color have been politically—and, in some places, physically—segregated, he has encouraged the crimilization of LGBTQ+ people, and more anti-Muslim hate crimes have occurred in 2016 than in any year since 2001.

Many people have joked about leaving the country if Trump is elected, but for some people, that is a reality. Minorities are on the cusp of losing their fundamental rights. People of color, LGBTQ+ people, disabled people, non-Christians (especially Muslims), and even women in general—#repealthe19th—are in danger of being displaced if movements like universal healthcare are repealed.

It’s highly unlikely that an amendment that affects half the population—women’s suffrage— will be repealed, but with the majority of Congress composed of men, nothing is off the table if Trump is president.

I hope that people reading this are living in a secure America. I hope that, no matter the scandals and rumors that have surrounded Clinton, she has locked in the presidency. Her policies have changed over time, but it’s a good sign; it means she’s adapting to the times. Even Obama wasn’t openly in favor of same-gender marriage until the second term of his presidency.

Most of all, I hope that I won’t need to make arrangements to move to Canada.


Gem Sheps
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