2600 words • 10 min
The week after the election, nearly everyone I knew had violence occur in their neighborhood. My best friend at the time lived in an apartment complex, and the body of a young black woman was found dead in the apartment below hers. My ex-boyfriend lived in a small town in the northeast and a man went on a shooting spree across the town, something that had never taken place in that area before. A guy I had been talking to online (and who I went on a date with eventually - Gizzards, coming soon) had a Muslim friend who had buckets of red paint thrown on him while walking across campus. And one of Axes' family members was assaulted on the street for wearing a pride shirt. She was physically okay minus some bruising, but everything was terrifying; everyone was shaken over these events happening all over the country.
It was heavy, depressing times, and I found myself going to Axes to talk about it over and over again. Over half of his immediate family and all of his friends were queer - he *got it* in a way that most of my other friends didn't.
He also said something that I still think about on a regular basis, and keep as quote on my phone. I shared with him that I had just started to be kind of Out at work. After Pulse happened, I wore all my LGBTQ t-shirts to work that week, and a few coworker friends knew about my life. But after Trump won, and people I know started getting more violence and hate directed at them and those they loved, it started to feel a lot more unsafe, or at least unwise, to be out in the workplace.