Last week Donald Trump was elected 45th President of the United States. This is an election that I had no say in, but watched with breath held and fingers crossed. My level of grief and rage when I woke the next morning was beyond words. It is heartbreaking that that number of people in a country that is so similar to ours could vote in a way that reflects that the rights of so many groups of people (women, minorities, LGBTQ) were not a priority, not a dealbreaker for them.
I want to state publicly that those issues are a dealbreaker for me. I believe that men, women, minorities, and LGBTQ people are all equal and should be treated equally and with respect.
As a woman I have been paid less than male counterparts, have walked home the longer safer way countless times, have been molested in public with no help from onlookers, have tolerated snide comments about my body and appearance from strangers, have been written off as emotional, have been scared, have been asked if I was bitchy because of my period, pay more to park in safer parking lots with better lighting, clutch my keys in my fist when walking to the car at night and check in the trunk before entering the car, and much more. And that's just from being a woman. I can only imagine and grieve about what minorities and LGBTQ people face daily.
I have always tried to be the person who doesn't let racist or misogynistic comments slide. That remains true and if anything my resolve to stand up for people who are either not present or unable to stand up for themselves is stronger than ever. My parents raised me to have empathy for others and also to stand up for what I believe to be right, even if the cost is high and painful (and sometimes it has been).
I know that Canada also has it's fair share of racism and violence and angry rhetoric and that lately it's been on the rise.
I will never stop voting. I will never stop writing to companies and government officials about the issues that I believe in. I will not shy away from the hard discussions. I will never stop fighting for the future I envision for Molly and all of our children.
I hope you are with me.