On my way to the polls yesterday I passed an old woman wearing a shirt that read, "nasty women vote," and she was absolutely glowing. She was radiating joy. It was impossible not to feel happy looking at her.
Inside my polling station, located on the west side of Chicago, the first two attendees I saw were two women who didn't speak English, but they smiled sweetly and pointed me to a few people who did.
It was a mix of color and culture at Pulaski Park, as it always is, and the feeling inside as people were placing their votes was nothing short of joyful.
I don't like to talk politics because I never feel quite educated enough to do so and like so many others, I get too emotional. But I will say that I grew up Republican in a very conservative state. But yesterday was my first time voting in Chicago, it was also my first time voting as a Democrat.
I owe Chicago a lot, but most of all I owe it for changing my overall thoughts and beliefs about the world around me. It showed me the privilege I grew up with that so many others didn't; the opportunities that were just handed to me simply because of my upbringing.
Chicago has taught me empathy. And that while I'll never know what it's like to have someone's struggles, I don't turn a blind eye to the fact it's happening.
I absolutely cringe at the way I used to view things. I'm not saying everyone has to move to a city to view things in a new light, that's simply what it took for me. Chicago forced me to recognize my own self entitlement and ask why? What warrants me to walk around with this?
Nothing, but that's how self entitlement works.
I grew up in a very safe bubble, full of people just like me. I felt safe and happy believing everything was right in the world. Racism, bigotry, misogyny- none of it existed anymore! Not in my world, anyway.
Granted I was also only a teenager when I thought this stuff, but still.
I have about ten different posts sitting in my drafts about Trump that I've never felt brave enough to publish. I think I wrote the first one when he openly mocked a man with a joint disorder at one of his rallies.
I wrote another after watching two teenage girls peacefully attend one of his rallies only to get bullied and pushed by adult men and ultimately get kicked out.
And then another after the hundreds of sexist comments he's made about women.
And the comments about kicking minorities out of "our country." Or trying to keep an entire religion from getting in. Remember when I talked about self entitlement above? Let's not forget we all came here as immigrants once.
And then there was the "grabbing women by the pussy."
The pussy grabbing is extra frustrating. Contrary to what you may believe, or the thousands of ignorant memes spread about it, the biggest issue with this isn't simply because the man who is about to be our next president openly said the word "pussy" in the way that he did. But the problem lies with the fact it is sexual assault to grab any woman by their pussy when they don't want it, and Trump bragged about it.
And sexual assault is a huge problem in our world, are we all aware of this?
And since we're on this topic, if you're someone wondering how a woman could be into 50 Shades of Grey, but also be offended by Trump's comment do you understand that the difference is CONSENT? Among a thousand other things. A woman can read and enjoy books or movies that are sexual in nature, or dance on stage like Miley or Beyonce, but that doesn't mean in doing so she's opening the door for any person to grab her by the pussy whenever he wants.
Do we get this? I feel like so many people are confused on this topic.
One more time, a woman can be sexual, but NOT want to get sexually assaulted. Or DESERVE to get sexually assaulted. No one deserves it, ever.
I'm not sure what it's like where you live, but today in Chicago a lot of people woke up very sad and scared. My friends who are minorities, or gay, or anything different than mainstream America are worried about what lies ahead. And why wouldn't they be? The hate and bullying that Trump incites is downright scary.
I have a lot of friends and family who voted for Trump. We all do, he won after all.
This entire election I've kept my thoughts to myself (for the most part) around Trump supporters and have really tried to understand what it is they're all seeing that I'm not. But the only answers I ever received were, "he's not Hillary," or "Hillary's a liar."
To which I always wondered, what about Trump gives off the "You can trust me, I'm totally an honest guy" vibes? Because I definitely missed it.
Or there were the standard vague responses like, "he won't hire taxes," or "he'll get rid of Obama Care."
I used to fear those things too, but then I came to Chicago and saw the poverty here and having some of my income get spread out to help others less fortunate didn't bother me so much anymore.
But now I'm getting preachy and that's not my intention. It's really not.
If you voted for Trump, I'd like to know what it is you admire about him? Why you think he'll "make America great again?" I know not everyone voted for him simply because they hate Hillary. If you know, please tell me.
And if the comment section gets ugly I'll shut it down in a heartbeat. I just can't take any more hate today.
And yes, I know it's typical of me and my idealist ways to think we can actually have an open discussion about what just happened last night without it getting heated, but hell why not. Stranger things have happened lately.
So here we are. Donald Trump will be our new president.
Also Chicago, I love you. So much. There's sadness in the city today, but also so much love.