It’s been precisely a month since I turned 30 and just like in my everyday life I had a lot of expectations for that day. I celebrated with some of my closest friends in New York City with a party worth talking about – and I will.
However, I would first like to say that this birthday would be unforgettable. Here’s why. Apart from going through a lot of self-discovery, financial struggle, anxiety and mild depression, the American people gave me the worst gift ever: Donald Trump.
It’s hard to believe that a lot of Americans (including some acquaintances) voted for a person who built his campaign around hatred, racism, and discrimination. I understand that the United States economy it’s hurting, but hiring a “businessman” it’s not going to change that, especially, if such person has no work ethic or the slightest idea of how to run a country.
What sadness me the more is realizing that 41.6 percent of the population didn’t vote. That means that over 90 million of Americans simply don’t give a fuck. Funny story, I was traveling on my birthday/Election Day (yeah it was a dumb thing to do) and on my way to the airport, I asked my Lyft driver (a young African-American man) if he had already voted. To which he replied, “no, the only time I voted was when Barack Obama was running.”
I couldn’t believe what I was listening. The fact that this guy voted for the first time for the first African-American President yet decided not to cast his vote this election didn’t make any sense. I explained to him how all the hard work and progress President Barack Obama had accomplished would go to waste if Hillary Clinton didn’t win. He agreed and told me he was going to vote. Did he do it? I don’t know. – At least I gave him a piece of my mind.
Post Election Day I was disappointed, angry and dishearten. – And still am, that’s why you haven’t seen me active on Instagram – I took to Facebook my feelings and started commenting on the results. A lot of people weren’t happy about what I had to say. My so-called friends were telling me to get out of the country if I didn’t like the outcome. Surprisingly or not, all of these people were white gay men. – WTF?
Let me get this straight; it’s ok for your President to call ME a criminal and a rapist yet I can‘t state that someone who supports his beliefs is in fact racist and let’s face it, uneducated? Here you are saying you are “my friend” and that you respect me; still, I didn’t see you standing up for me against those comments. Therefore, you’re RACIST. Just like the saying says, “as bad to steal a horse as it is to stand by and look on.”
Besides, if you were truly my friend you will know what this election means to me, as a Mexican immigrant. I left Mexico to pursue my dreams, to be successful, to build a life in an open-minded country and to be myself without fear of being bullied or hurt. I’ve been doing great for the most part, but the future it’s uncertain, especially since this administration is thinking of challenging LGBT rights and immigration laws.
I came into adulthood in this country. I’ve experienced success and failure, I’ve met the most amazing people, and I’ve had some crazy adventures. It’s hard to imagine the place you once knew as progressive and safe will no longer be. Is it worth staying here? I’m not sure. All I know is that I will continue speaking my mind and working hard to achieve my goals, ANYWHERE I go.
Photos Phil Shaw
Not just a pretty face