Where Do We Go From Here?

We cry today, and get to work tomorrow.

by Stephanie Kaloi

women walking down the street

A month ago I asked Meg if I could write an Election Day recap. Of course! She said. Yes! It will be so fun.

Last night around 11pm I started realizing that the country I thought I lived in might not really exist. This morning at 6am I sat down at my kitchen table and stared at my laptop, waiting for something to occur to me. Then, at 8:11am EST, I realized that I don’t have to solve anything for anyone, because I can’t. There are no words right now, because we didn’t think these words would have to exist.

Here are a few things I know:

we are in this together: Whatever happens, whatever comes to light, whatever laws and rights are passed or stripped, it doesn’t change the fact that we are here. As I move from denial to anger (where I plan to stay for the next four years), I am trying to remind myself of this fact. We are here.

it’s time to get woke: I don’t mean in the cool, trendy Internet way. I mean really, truly awaken. Last night I had a minor-to-major meltdown on Slack when I realized that the country I live in has sent a clear message that women are not valued in the way I thought they were. This meltdown happened in the digital presence of Najva, Jareesa, and Rachel (formerly of APW, now at Buzzfeed—y’all know her), who are all intelligent, powerful women of color. I realized quickly that this sensation, while embarrassingly new to me, is probably not new to them. I realized that this sensation, while devastating, only gives me a glimpse into what a lot Black and brown people, people of color, have felt in this country for… forever. As scared as I am for my family, I’m even more scared for families who don’t have the privilege we have.

I have also realized I still have a lot to learn, and I want to learn how to use what privilege I do have to help as many people as I can. As serious as this might be for us (and there are some very real concerns in our home right now), I know it’s extremely grim for many more people.

liberal democracy has to continue: And we have to fight hatred in all forms: racism, xenophobia, bigotry, ableism, transphobia, anti-Semitism. I don’t really know how, right now, but I’m researching. Here’s what I’ve got:

we who choose to stay and fight


What Do We Do Now

He won. Now what does Donald Trump do?

waking up to president trump: what happens now?

what happened on election day

American has done what seemed unthinkable.

Crisis Text line: Text START to 741-741

The Trevor Project (LGBT+): 1-866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline: (877) 565-8860

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

share your links below, please. we all need them.

Stephanie Kaloi

Stephanie is a photographer, writer, and Ravenclaw living in California with her family. She is super into reading, road trips, and adopting animals on a whim. Forewarning: all correspondence will probably include a lot of punctuation and emoji (!!! ? ? ?).

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  • CMT

    I can’t stop crying. I feel so helpless and hopeless. I’m not ready for the “It’s going to be ok! We’ll just work harder!” messages yet. I will be, I’m sure. But not today.

    The only thing that’s been comforting to me so far has been this post: http://nonprofitwithballs.com/2016/11/disbelief-disappointment-and-fear-and-why-our-work-is-more-important-than-ever/ “I hope you are doing OK. But it’s OK to not be OK. It will take us a while to process this loss. Let us all allow ourselves to feel whatever we are feeling and do whatever we need to get some degree of healing. It will take a while; this is not a normal election loss for many of us, and we shouldn’t act as if it were.”

    • stephanie

      Yeah, I’m sitting here waiting for Hillary’s speech and just sobbing. I wrote this half to motivate myself to find links that will help and words that might make me feel better.

      • Totch

        My coworker told me she could cover me this morning, so I’m supposed to be trying to sleep. I just want her to speak so I can sleep.

        • CJ

          You know, I couldn’t sleep last night and I started watching Stephen Colbert because he’s just so…fatherly? And this video was incredibly poignant. And for about 5 minutes I actually felt better.


          I still feel sick and have been crying off and on, but it did provide some comfort in the interim.

          • Elinor

            Thank you for posting this!

  • SJ

    I’ve cried. I’ve been sick. I’ve screamed. I’ve pulled on my (freshly blue) hair.
    I’ve begged the universe for some Olivia Pope style intervention.

    But Olivia isn’t coming. We’re here. And we have to endure and thrive and remain who we are, despite who is in the Oval Office.

  • LizGB

    What do we do??

    I need to do something but I don’t know what. I would love to do something to expand the rights of people who I feel are threatened by this election (Muslims, immigrants, black people, LBGT people)… but I am afraid of sticking my white nose into places I don’t belong just to assuage my white guilt. (I already donate what money I can afford to these causes but I want to DO something.)

    I want to get involved with my local community… but how?? I live in a suburban/small town area and I can’t seem to Google my way to any kind of civic groups or community programs here. Any suggestions for search terms?

    I feel so frustrated and angry and sad and I don’t know what to do about it.

    • CJ

      I mean, it’s not a magic potion, but this link is a start: https://www.aclu.org/about/affiliates

      I know when I go to my state page there are opportunities to volunteer as well as donate.

      • LizGB

        Thank you!

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        The only way I felt not completely useless this morning so far was to donate to the ACLU and PP. I just feel so lost and betrayed.

        • L

          I did the same. At least i was able to turn some of these feelings into something more productive.

    • SLG

      1) If you own a home in an association, volunteer in your condo association / HOA. It may seem like a small thing (and yes, it can be maddening — politics always are), but that is the most micro-local thing you can do, and it’s amazing how prejudiced HOAs / condo associations can be. Be the one who stands up for inclusion there as well as in your broader community.

      2) Find a local legal-advocacy / legal-services group and volunteer for them. It’s often these groups that are at the front lines of informing minority tenants of their rights, providing help to immigrants, etc. The one I volunteered for had way more needs than people to fill them, and I’m guessing it’s the same everywhere.

      • Liz

        Thank you, this is great. I don’t own a home but I’m going to look into the second one. It sounds like something that could be a good match for my skills.

        (p.s. this is LizGB, I forgot the login to my first account)

  • ChristineH87

    Walked into my high school classroom this morning after about 2 hours of fitful sleep and a night of sobbing. The students are all subdued today, and many have expressed how scared they are. On top of the presidential election, our school district voted against a badly-needed tax increase and now who knows what will happen to the schools here. I feel devalued as a woman and a teacher, and I feel scared for my students.

    In the end, I’m not sure what to do right yet. I know myself and many others will continue fighting for social justice and will need to become more active and vocal in our political system. But right now, I’m going through a grieving process and learning to live with this grief.

  • toomanybooks

    Given that Hillary has surpassed trump in the popular vote, I just can’t let go of a tiny, crazy hope that somehow, she will be our next president. Because I just don’t know how I and the world can go forward after this like everything’s normal. I just can’t believe he will really go through as president.

    • CMT

      How the fuck is it that it’s only happened 5 times that a candidate won the popular vote but lost in the electoral college and 2 of those times have been in our lifetime?? Why are we so unlucky?

      • Amy March

        We aren’t unlucky, we are increasingly polarized.

        • flashphase

          also redrafting district lines creates more strongholds for republicans. Every vote does not count in the same way

      • Another Meg

        We aren’t unlucky. The electoral college is bullshit. And gerrymandering is super real.

        • The electoral college could still save your asses (Canadian here). As mentioned below, it exists to stop populist demagogues. The electors still have to cast their votes in December to make it official, and they aren’t all bound to vote for the party that was elected in their state. Given that many very important Republicans have publicly withdrawn their support for Mr Trump, it doesn’t seem completely impossible that a few electors go rogue and vote for Clinton.

          I mean, Bush Sr said that he voted for Clinton, hellloooo!!

          • Another Meg

            First, the electoral college DOES NOT exist to stop populist demagogues. It exists because early in the history of our country, the Southern states wanted their enslaved population to count for votes in elections. They couldn’t get their 3/5 vote with a popular vote- that would only have counted people who actually had the right to vote. The electoral college was created to appease the whim of bigots and keep the votes in the hands of “educated” white male landowners.

            Second, the only electors who have spoken out about not voting for the candidate who won their state have been those who refuse to vote for Clinton. Not useful for this argument.

          • LadyMe

            Genuinely interested. I have not read much about the creation of the electoral college in terms of race. (APUSH’s American Pageant is notorious for pushing the states’-rights-only view of the civil war.) Do you have reading suggestions?

    • Gina

      How do we do away with the electoral college? Anyone know?

      • Anon in NJ

        nationalpopularvote.com Check if your state has already passed the legislation. If not, write your state legislature!!!!!

      • CP2011

        i had really put my hope in the electoral college for this election. i truly thought we would be so glad to have it in place — like, ok the founding fathers had it right when they decided that america was populated by ignorant peasants and that a barrier should be in place to prevent those peasants from overriding the establishment politicians. clearly, our country is still populated by the willfully ignorant but the electoral college isn’t doing us any favors.

      • LadyMe

        The electoral college is in place for a reason. It’s (ironically) supposed to stop populist demagogues. We have to do away with partisan redistricting.

        Watch this video: http://www.vox.com/2015/10/19/9565119/democrats-in-deep-trouble

  • Lmba

    I am Canadian, so obviously my level of investment in this outcome is different from most of yours. But let me say this: most of the Canadians I know are truly horrified and terrified by this election result. We feel for everyone in the USA who will now suffer under the leadership of this man and under the oppression of a misogynistic and xenophobic/racist culture. We are so, so sorry. We also know that there are good people working hard to counter the injustices in the USA, and we support you.

    When I got up this morning, I thought I would put together a little list of places on the Internet that we Canadians can donate to support the good and important work being done by activists in the United States. I just popped on to the GoFundMe page for Sacred Stone Camp and lo and behold, the most recent donation listed is from Najva Sol. To see that the authentic and immediate response from this Internet stranger that I have a tiny connection to is to support communities under threat is amazing. I’ll be sending my own donation and boosting the signal in my limited capacity for the following groups today:

    Raising Race Conscious Children http://www.raceconscious.org/
    Sacred Stone Camp https://www.gofundme.com/sacredstonecamp
    Familia Trans Queer Liberation Movement http://familiatqlm.org/
    The Movement for Black Lives https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/movementforblacklives
    The Southern Poverty Law Center https://www.splcenter.org/

    • Amie Melnychuk

      I fellow Canadian upvoting your words.

      We are sending all the warm hugs and comfort food we can down to you. Take time to grieve, but we are also here to help you fight when you get back up.

      • CMT

        Can I have some poutine?

        • Amie Melnychuk

          I can also send some e-tourtière, perogies, and other awesome Canuck-faves.

    • LadyMe

      Emily’s List https://secure.emilyslist.org/page/contribute/donate-to-emily
      Help elect pro-choice Democratic women.

    • I somehow missed this comment but that’s amazing. Yes, I was freaking out so I just started throwing money at radical organizations. I don’t fuck around, glad to see you don’t too. <3

  • Alice

    I’m not feeling quite ready for hope just yet. But my wonderful, calm, wise mother wrote this to me this morning: “Nothing in us [our family] has changed. We remain resilient and creative and loving. There’s time to be patient and to be advocates. Continue on in compassion and doing what is right.”

    And she is right, and I hope that I can start feeling more compassionate and less angry and dismayed soon.

    • Elinor

      Totally agree. Compassion and tolerance from everyone to everyone.

  • Jessica

    I’m trapped between wanting to flee the country and wanting to fight like hell in the next few years.

    I own a house, so I guess I’m staying to fight like hell.

    • Her Lindsayship

      We’re in the process of buying a condo, which seemed like a great idea until last night. Suddenly it was like, “we’re stuck here, we can’t just leave.” In reality I think the fighting like hell option is the better one for our country, and I want to believe that that’s worth it. But for some reason the fact that we’re just putting down roots here NOW, at this unthinkable hour, makes me feel a little queasy.

      • MC

        Yep, we bought a house at the beginning of the year, and as the results started rolling in we were like, “We need to move!” “Oh shit, we own a house now.” I do think that staying and fighting is the best thing to do, but it is hard to feel like we don’t have the option. Hopefully in few more days/weeks I will feel more motivated and less trapped.

      • Alyssa

        Yes, our lease is up in December, and we were looking at houses this week but stopped once the amount we were approved for was significantly less than anything reasonable in our area. SO moving out of the country is not out of the question, though I’m inspired to stay and fight after reading APW comments.

      • BSM

        Same with us. We’re in contract on a duplex right now and were trying to decide if we should back out…

  • Annie

    This might be a dumb question, but when people say to get involved in politics on the local level to enact change…how exactly does one DO that? What would action items look like?

    Also, does anyone have recommendations for either supporting or volunteering to teach underprivileged youth computer, tech, and/or business skills? My husband is looking for one, as he’s an MBA with a focus on data science and he thinks he could do a lot of good there to help teach what will soon be basic necessary skills for the workforce (as a means of replacing traditional labor needs that are being supplanted by the globalization and automation we have personally benefitted from)

    • CMT

      Running or campaigning for city council and state reps I think is one place to start. And campaigning for local initiatives and referenda.

      • Amy March

        Heck, voting in your local elections is a place to start if you have local level representation that doesn’t represent you.

        And for teaching and volunteering, the Boys and Girls Club and YMCA both have those kinds of programs near me.

    • Emily C

      You could reach out to your local library, too, and see if they have any programs he could volunteer for. There’s also a group in our city, Portland Adult Education, and there may be something similar where you are.

    • emilyg25

      I’m not a person who cares to hold public office, so I vote and volunteer and attend meetings and advocate for my opinions and beliefs and write lots of letters.

    • LadyMe

      A lot of community colleges also have adult education classes that offer tech skills classes to people (separate from enrolling in the college). If you google “continuing education” or “adult education”, that can help find organizations that offer tech and business classes.

    • KPM

      Code for America may be one way your husband can use his skills and/or get connected to people who know the right folks to connect him with since those types of teaching opportunities are often organized through schools and local organizations.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      The political parties have local committees. I’ve found them hard to break in to – meetings during work days, all meetings fundraisers, etc. But you can at least get on the email list. Volunteer to man a booth at the next fair/farmers market/etc.

      Sometimes easier are neighborhood meetings. They seem to have one every 6 months regarding parking on my block. I get a notice in the mail, and they’re announced on the city’s website and in the local newspaper.

      If you use a city service like a library or community center, they usually have citizen advisory committees that provide feedback to bureaucrats on things like “Should we replace the chairs or the carpet?” “Should we buy more audio books or children’s picture books?”

    • Sarah E

      There are lots of boring things that make a big difference. Things like zoning ordinances can be a huge snooze, but they’re pivotal when it comes to development and energy infrastructure, so making yourself heard on those things matter. An example from my own city: the public transportation system is getting an overhaul, which is good in that it’s getting modernized to an extent, but changing routes deeply affects the blind community, who showed up to some of the first public meetings and made that clear.

      So showing up to public hearings and meetings, even if you don’t have input, you’ll know where the underlying issues are.

      • LadyMe

        Zoning ordinances make a HUGE difference when it comes to affordable housing. It can forbid multi family dwellings and other things that block affordable housing, which keeps neighborhoods economically (which much of the time translates to racially) segregated.

  • JC

    I don’t know what to do. I can’t cry at work, I’m supposed to have a call with a client in half an hour, but I can’t really feel anything except this flame in my chest. I’m afraid we’re going to lose everything, starting with our jobs. We’re semi-seriously considering getting married soon, in order to have those legal protections if we need them. We’ll see if that feeling of urgency stays. The one thing I do know is that he and I cried together last night, and I knew that he was the one I wanted to face these crises with, to make these big decisions with, to comfort and celebrate with. He’s my person, and we’ll say “for better or for worse” one of these days and mean it.

  • Eh

    A friend (who is Canadian, like me) wrote a FB post this morning to her American friends (many who are LGBTQ) pleading for them to take care of their mental health and posted many of the same hotlines/crisis lines that are posted here. Someone attacked her and said 1. that suicide isn’t something to be joked about (my friend was not joking) and 2. that it is silly that someone would have such a extreme reaction to election results. I really can’t imagine what people in the USA are going through. Take care of yourself!

  • Her Lindsayship

    That concession speech was so moving. I watched it on a CNN stream with my colleagues. It was extremely painful to watch, but she really nailed it and I felt so proud of her. Unfortunately the CNN anchors felt the need to immediately comment on how “emotional” she was, and the fact that she started out with an apology, which was “something women do a lot”. WTF CNN.

    • flashphase

      yeah EXACTLy

    • CMT

      FUCK CNN.

  • Brooke

    It’s been a rough day, to say the least (and it’s only noon). I woke up today hoping it was a bad dream; or rather, hoping some miracle happened when I was drifting in and out of sleep as the last polls were closing. There’s an obvious funk at the office today, and the divides between people are becoming clearer: I’ve seen people openly crying, and I’ve heard people openly say “I just don’t get why people of color/women/LGBT/etc. are scared! I was scared 8 years ago!” (about what, who knows…guns, probably). I haven’t really stopped shaking, and I’ve definitely had moments with tears in my eyes. As a person with family members that are proudly gay, with a brother-in-law that is a proud immigrant, and who is about to marry a person of color, my heart aches so badly today. Like many, I’m trying to piece together where we go from here, and how we begin moving forward. Until then, I’m offering a listening ear and love to all.

  • Cleo

    This article on Jezebel has a list of great organizations in the body and also in the comments: http://jezebel.com/a-list-of-pro-women-pro-immigrant-pro-earth-anti-big-1788752078

    Stay strong everyone. People like you is why I still have hope that America truly can be the land of the free – and if we stay and fight, we’ll prove we’re also the home of the brave.

    • LadyMe

      PEN America defends free expression. This is going to be critical, based on Trump’s expressed desire to open up libel laws and his history of harassing journalists who post negative stories about him.

  • Another Meg

    If anyone’s looking to get involved in Illinois, Illinois Choice Action Team (ICAT) is a great place to give back for reproductive freedom. We have record numbers of protesters at clinics harassing patients and their companions, and we can always use more escorts.

    It’s definitely helped me deal with this to be able to put my body between the antis and patients trying to access healthcare.


  • Mariah

    My mother is German, and since I was old enough to start coming to grips with the Holocaust, I’ve struggled with the realization that her family (including my great-grandmother, whose lap and plum cakes I remember fondly) was 100% on the wrong side. They may not have been active Nazis, but they stood by silently while their neighbors were taken away. Trump has stated that he will create a deportation force to remove undocumented immigrant families from their homes and places of business. Unless I’m on the right side of history this time around, I won’t be able to look at myself in the mirror. Please, make a personal pledge to do right by the people who are most at risk under the policies that this man promises to implement.

    • Elisa

      You know, no one talks about it, but the Obama Administration has deported more people than any president in the history of the country. 2.5 Million and counting.


      • Mariah

        That’s a completely fair point, and I definitely haven’t done enough about this so far. I also think there’s a difference between 2.5 million and the 11 million deportations that Trump is proposing, along with the creation of a brand new enforcement body that will be used to implement the deportations and terrorize immigrant and POC communities. There’s a lot of work to do.

  • Danielle

    The “Waking up to President Trump” article is really triggering for me. As a queer woman and a Jew, I don’t need to hear about how all my worst fears will come true. Tonight is the anniversary of Kristallnacht (look it up) and I don’t need to be reminded of just how close we are to Nazi Germany right now.

    I need a safe place to mourn and cry. I am not ready to do any work. I understand many people are greater targets than me, and I hope to help them in the coming months. For now, I must take care of myself, and grieve the current reality our country faces.

    • flashphase

      I’ve been feeling real PTSD as the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor. How can we move forward and ensure American Muslims don’t have to endure what our families did? How do we quash antisemitism here in our own country?

      • Danielle

        Ugh I’m so sorry. I really don’t have any answers here. Maybe connect with Muslim or immigrant groups in your area and see if there is any help they could use?

        Also personally for me, just being out as a Jew and vocal about my fears has been helpful. I think it helps others connect with me and share their feelings as well.

    • Rebekah

      Absolutely, you take care of yourself. I didn’t realize the uncanny timing, and I (gratefully) have less to worry about losing. I am currently gearing up through my tears to learn how to be a better advocate for others. Please know I’m going to be there fighting for you, and that mourning is absolutely a reasonable response. Can’t believe we’re living through this…

      • Danielle

        Thank you, Rebekah. It is absolutely shocking.

        We all have to take care of ourselves. We have to be strong and healthy for whatever comes next. I am relatively privileged as well, because of my white skin and straight-seeming relationship. I do plan to support those more vulnerable than me, especially immigrants, when I am ready. But first I need this time to really mourn.

    • Meg Keene

      I know, me too. I had a REALLY scary day yesterday. I can turn outward a little more after sleeping on it, but my terror for my jewish children was so overwhelming yesterday that I kept bursting into tears. Jews are last in line this time around, and we need to take care of people first in line. But SHIT it’s terrifying.

      • Danielle

        I have a little more clarity today too, but the terror I felt/feel is not rational, it’s based on an ancient lizard part of my brain that says, “Get out. Leave. They will kill you.”

        Again, not rational. But learning about the Holocaust as a child, knowing many survivors, having relatives that did not survive: the election results and aftermath (swastikas painted in Philadelphia yesterday, for example) confirm ALL my fears that it could happen again.

  • Lauren

    What does a queer woman engaged to a non-binary Latinx do when my mom voted for Trump?! She was supposed to pay for a big chunk of the wedding, and now we’re really uncomfortable accepting that money. Not to mention that our families were supposed to meet for the first time at thanksgiving, and my fiancé’s family only recently got their citizenship… I’m just at a loss for words and can’t stop crying.

    • CMT

      I’m so sorry. That sounds incredibly difficult. I don’t know what I would do.

    • CP2011

      that’s awful. this might be extreme, but i feel like that is a legitimate reason to take a break from people in your life, at least for a while. in casting her vote for trump, she showed where her values lie and they are not with you and your fiance, sadly.

    • Anon Today

      Accept the money. Let every Trump supporter who is invited to your wedding know that you genuinely believe that we are stronger by accepting each other rather than pushing each other away in anger. It sucks today, but in the long run not burning bridges over this is the right thing if at all possible. (And that advice *of course* assumes that your mom and those like her are not saying and doing awful things to you and your partner. If so, burn that bridge to the ground.)

    • Liz

      Have a really honest conversation with her. Actually, have several.

      I’m assuming that you, like me, are white. This is the work we must do. We have to talk to our friends and family and tell them why their views are damaging to the lives of so many people, to convince them that they are wrong.

      It’s easy to just ignore it, not say anything. It’s almost as easy just to distance yourself from the racists (and yeah, sorry, if your mom is willing to vote for Trump after what he’s said, she is at least a little bit racist) so you don’t have to hear it. But what does that change? How does that make things better?

      We have the chance to speak to these people as someone they love. This is a place where black, Muslim, queer, Latinx voices aren’t heard. But yours is. You can talk to your parents, again and and again, tell them how hurt you feel, tell them what they have contributed to. This is work that only white people can do and we MUST do. Because this election was caused by us.

      • Gina

        I agree with this. Distancing ourselves isn’t the answer. We have to do the hard work ourselves, and it starts with our families and close friends. Your family and friends are the people you listen to. We have to have the conversations. Shutting doors and telling people they’re racist and stupid doesn’t change minds. I’m taking a break until it’s not so raw, and then I’m committing myself to challenging people’s assumptions and biases.

        • LadyMe

          Yes. The necessary work is hard and challenging. It’s easier to wall ourselves off, but that’s part of how we got into this mess.

      • mssolo

        I agree with this, especially have several conversations. Don’t start by putting her on the defensive – as far as she’s concerned the rest of the country agrees with her, and the last thing she wants to do is consider that she may have made a massive mistake. Learn why she voted the way she did and then, when things are less raw and reactionary for both of you, use that to start changing her mind.

      • Lauren

        I’ve already started having the conversations. We cancelled joint thanksgiving- my fiancé and I are just not ready for that- but even in cancelling that, I told my mom we would be having many, many more conversations about politics. My boss, and close friend, and I were taking yesterday, and the only thing that made sense was for the pendulum to swing to meaningful interactions, on a smaller scale, with people who don’t see their privilege.

        I think one of the most upsetting parts, for many of us, is that this seems surreal. I didn’t have enough of these conversations before the election because I made the ass-making assumption that we would never, ever see the day where we had a President Elect Trump. I clearly underestimated the complacency of privilege.

  • This piece from Very Smart Brothas really sums up how I’ve been feeling all day – http://verysmartbrothas.com/i-will-never-underestimate-white-peoples-need-to-preserve-whiteness-again/

    Frankly, it’s time for the folks who have had the privilege of sitting on the sidelines to get in the game. My mentor always says that the work related to diversity & inclusion is a contact sport, and we all have to get in the game and get banged up. Now’s the time to get banged up instead of resting on White privilege. Now’s the time to say something, to march, to fight for the others who will be the first to be rounded up when Trump follows through on his campaign promises. Marginalized folks have been doing this work because we’ve had to – yesterday’s election proved that nothing will change unless folks let go of their privilege and work to make the change happen.

    • Brynna

      As a white woman who works in the nonprofit education realm with under-served students, I felt like I was doing something. After I read that piece earlier this morning, I realized I need to be doing much more.

    • Julia

      “Frankly, it’s time for the folks who have had the privilege of sitting on the sidelines to get in the game.” I have had that privilege and despite being politically and socially active thus far in my life, today has been a huge wake-up call to step up and speak up more than ever before. Thank you for calling this, and me, and others like me, out. All I could think this morning in light of my fear and shock and grief was: time to do more. Time to get to work. I pledge to show up differently going forward, which feels lame to type in an internet comment, but I will no longer sit on the sidelines like I’ve made the mistake of doing in the past. (No need for a gold star from you on this or others — your words simply spoke to my own personal conviction in terms of how to move forward with you.)

      • Kat

        This is exactly how I’m feeling today. After barely sleeping and throwing up three times and crying the whole way to work, something switched in my brain and I was like “Well….I can’t do this forever. Time to step it the eff up.”
        A big part of this, for me, is that I need to be more vocal in public forums. I’m from a relatively conservative upbringing and I was always taught that talking about politics was….crass, i guess? I’m hyper aware that I’m friends on facebook with lots of family members who are right-wing christian conservatives and for some reason, I was trying not to share my liberal views online so as to not provoke them or make family events uncomfortable. But WHY? They definitely don’t give me the same courtesy. Sorry mom, but I’m done being quiet for the sake of willfully ignorant family members.
        Obviously this is a tiny step in the scheme of things but I hope it was help me gain the confidence to openly campaign for the things I care about.
        This post from Man Repeller brought me a lot of peace today: http://www.manrepeller.com/2016/11/election-results.html
        Specifically this line – “Something that we as women are supposed to say is that “it’s going to be okay.” You can add “honey” if you’re feeling especially maternal. We are going to be okay. We can handle four years, and we can use that time to get involved, take action and make important changes. We are resilient. We have to be. But right now, at least this morning, it is also okay to not be great. To mourn, to press mute. To be sorry.
        And then tomorrow: a new day.”

        Sending love to all of you. This group inspires me so much every day and even more so today.

    • Lawyerette510

      All the yeses to “now is the time to get banged up instead of resting on white privilege.”

      Every person I see in my facebook feed who is posting about leaving the country, or moving to a blue state, or the west coast leaving the union, I have been messaging (either publicly or privately depending on my relationship with them) to say that while I understand the emotional reaction, that’s the opposite of a solution. And you know what, every single one of them is white, CIS, straight and without any obvious physical disabilities. The people with the very least at risk are the ones saying they want to take their toys and leave the sandbox. And it is bullshit. And they are my people, and so I am calling them out. Because we are the ones who as a group are very long over due to step up, do the work, and dismantle the system that we have benefited from for so long.

      • Liz

        Absolutely, and also to even have the means to be able to just pick and up and move like that shows a level of economic privilege a LOT of people don’t have access to. Leaving behind the ones that don’t have the means to flee is definitely not the answer. We stay and fight!

  • I’ll Smile if I Want To

    I was just walking during my lunch break to try and regain a sense of calm–it wasn’t working–but it really came crashing down when a male voice yelled at me from the car lot that I dropped my smile. I did something I have never done before and turned to face him and told him don’t even. He mocked me, commented about my clothing and I kept walking. I walked right back to my desk and googled the number for the car dealership, lodged a complete and have since talked to the owner of the auto detailing that the man works for. I made it very clear that the man’s behavior was unacceptable and that I walk past there twice a day five days a week. I told the boss that I was not asking for the man to be fired, just told that his behavior was unacceptable and that the boss would be hearing from me if it ever happens again. Part of me feels like I over-reacted–most of me says eff that.

    • Jess


    • Ashlah

      You didn’t overreact at all. You are brave and wonderful and don’t deserve to be harassed. I hope he shuts his damn mouth.

    • CP2011

      you did the right thing — no over reation at all. not that overreacting would have been a bad thing. maybe we all need to start over reacting all the time.

    • CMT

      This is what I’m so afraid of. This shit is (more) normal and this shit is (more) okay now (than it was before).

    • KPM

      FUCK YES! You did not deserve to be treated like that and standing up for yourself is the right thing to do. And that owner should thank you because he should know about and put an end to behavior like that coming from his business.

    • Rebekah

      Fuck yes. Good for you.
      I’ve decided that despite my non-confrontational nature, I need to get comfortable with saying “That is not ok” and really soon. You inspire me.

    • Eh

      Good for you! There are many reasons why someone might not be smiling and the idea that women need to put a smile on is demeaning. No one would ever comment on a man who wasn’t smiling.

    • Kara E

      Good for you. Not over-reacting.

  • Kelly

    I was really proud that Nevada and WA state voted blue. But I genuinely feel that I can only live on the west coast given how red middle America is. Just a shitty day

    • Julia

      I live in Iowa and myself and so many friends are just shell-shocked at our state’s decision this year. Just know that some (many!) of us in middle America are right there with you.

    • Alyssa

      As someone who’s lived in CA pretty much her whole life, I realized last night after watching all the red fill up the map that I live in a serious blue bubble. I’m proud of my values and what I stand for, but it is so disheartening and baffling to see that what I believe is apparently drastically different from the bulk of American voters.

    • Another Meg

      Illinois is blue. I live in Chicago- and I realized last night what a liberal bubble that is. Shitty day, indeed.

    • sofar

      I hail from WI which has gone democrat since the 80s and was SO angry last night. Meanwhile, TX, my current state surprised me with how close the results were. There is a certain thrill in changing a red state from the inside.

  • Nina

    I’m feeling so many things right now, and obviously this will effect every aspect of our lives for a time to come. But in the meantime, I’m worried. I’m worried because I’m a queer woman, a rape survivor living with PTSD, who has felt triggered by Trump throughout the election, and I am getting married next week. How do I not let these feelings of terror and heartbreak overshadow my wedding? How can I celebrate what should be such a happy time when I feel so much concern for the wellbeing of so many people I love? My wedding now feels like a trivial thing to worry about, but as someone who’s made a lot of progress in her mental health these past few years, I’m afraid these negative feelings will overshadow all of the happy memories I should be creating.

    • Anon Today

      No, I think your wedding is perfect timing! You are providing such an important service to you family and friends to host a joyous gathering that focuses on love and acceptance. Your circle needs this. It will be cathartic and a blessing.

    • flashphase

      I am feeling this too. Our ceremony was always going to talk about equal partnership, but one thing I am thinking about is changing the language to include our shared committment to social justice and a more loving world. We can also make donations to the ACLU and other groups in honor of our wedding and include that in our program, and encourage guests to do the same in celebration.

      And your marriage is a blessing – you are showing the world that love trumps hate.

  • Jessica

    The only helpful response I can think of is that I need to give money and be involved with organizations that support causes related to respecting our constitution, equality for women and creating an inclusive America.

  • lamarsh

    Does anyone have experience volunteering with Big Brother Big Sister or Boys & Girls Club? I live in a large city with huge economic disparity and I was thinking either would be a good way to get involved, I just do not know anyone who has done these programs.

    • LadyMe

      There’s generally too many volunteers for Big Sisters (which is why I haven’t done it) but Big Brothers are generally needed *desperately*. If you can persuade any guys in your life to join in, do it.

      • lamarsh

        That’s helpful to know, though disappointing that they lack Big Brothers.

      • Cellistec

        Also, volunteering with kids in foster care could be a good substitute if your local Bigs/B&GC are full of mentors already. For example, you could look up nonprofits that work with kids in care and are looking for tutors, sanctuary volunteers, etc.

        (Apologies for the late post…I was out of the country when the election went down.)

    • Alyssa

      My fiancee is the Educational Director of our local Boys and Girls Club, and I think he would be SO happy if someone like you were to volunteer (he’s one of the people in charge of interviewing potential volunteers). If you have specific questions about volunteering there let me know, and I’ll give you my email so we can chat in more detail :)

      • lamarsh

        That would be great! I work fairly long hours so I am hoping they will have opportunities on the weekend or later in the evening, but I would love to hear more.

        • Alyssa

          Okay yay! Yes feel free to email me at alyssa(dot)ae(at)gmail(dot)com.

          My fiancee’s location stays open till about 7pm, and just did a haunted house for Halloween, etc. I’m sure they would love to have you for whatever you could contribute!

    • MC

      I’m a Big Sister and I would definitely encourage you to connect with your local chapter and see if you can be involved! It may be true that they have an excess of female Bigs, but I know lots of Bigs and Littles have specific requests for who they want to be matched with (some people want a match with the same religious beliefs as them, some have language requirements for being able to communicate with the family, etc.) so it doesn’t hurt to connect with the org and see what their needs are. In my local chapter Big Sisters can be matched with Little Brothers since the need for mentors for boys is so large, so that could also be an option.

      I’ve been with my Little Sister for about a year now and it has been really special to be able to devote time & energy into this friendship that I would not have if not for BBBS. And the schedule for spending time with your Little is entirely up to you – I mostly hang out with my Little Sister in the evenings or on weekends.

  • Anonymous

    As someone who had a loved one attempt suicide the day after the 2004 election, I am so glad to see the helplines in this post. Thank you for looking out for folks.

  • LadyMe

    I might need to wear this shirt everywhere. Make it my activist shirt.

    • I’ll Smile If I Want To

      Ha! I shared a story here a few hours ago about a man commenting on my lack of a smile. Maybe I need that shirt.

  • Pingback: Where Do We Go From Here? | weddingcarshiregeelong()

  • BSM

    My husband and I went to a SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice – the organizing-for-white-people arm of BLM) meeting in Oakland tonight. It felt really good to be surrounded by other white people who felt the same kind of despair, shame, anger, sadness, etc. about Trump’s win.

    I definitely recommend looking into your local chapter if you’re looking for a welcoming introduction to activism: http://www.showingupforracialjustice.org/

    • BSM

      Even though everything is terrible, I’m so fucking proud of my husband. We’re both pretty politically engaged, but I’m definitely the more passionate one between the two of us. He voted for Bernie in the primaries but was happy to vote for Hillary in the general, though, of course, not as enthusiastic as I was (only the lovely ladies of Pantsuit Nation could have matched my joy and excitement).

      In the wake of the election results, he is more pissed off and fired up than I have ever seen him. He is inhaling all the crazy news coming out, convinced me to go with him to a protest last night, and is planning on really getting active in SURJ and BLM. He just suggested we write letters to electors to try to get them to not vote for Trump.

      He has always been an amazing man, partner, and feminist, but seeing him take such an active role in the movement to reject Trump, hate, white supremacy, misogyny, etc. has warmed my heart during these dark days.

      I hope all you ladies have people in your life doing this for you and us.

      • LadyMe

        I applaud your husband’s fervor, but think twice about trying to get electors to go rogue. It would be damaging to democracy if they do. Past rogue electors have done so out of racist intentions so we shouldn’t encourage it because it might keep happening in the future and not in our favor. Campaigning to get rid of the electoral system for future elections is one thing, but we really shouldn’t break more norms by trying to change them after they formed the basis for this whole election. It’s like Sanders supporters hating super delegates and then switching to courting them. It just plays as too cynical. Also, you’d need nearly 37 electors to defect in order to avoid throwing the decision to the Republican House, and the odds of that happening are slim to none. Other people have more eloquent articles online why it would be a really bad idea. I think we need to respect the political norms because one of the reasons Trump is so dangerous is that he ignores the norms. We shouldn’t stoop to his level.

        • BSM

          I disagree.

        • BSM

          I’ve read those articles, thanks. Agree to disagree. I can’t respect political norms anymore when that means putting people’s safety and civil liberties at risk. I’m done playing by the rules. Trying to fight fire with squirt guns is what got us into this mess in the first place. Not that it matters to you, but I’d at least feel OK about throwing a vote to the house and having them elect a different Republican.

          I’m cynical as fuck. Please don’t try to tell me I’m stooping to his level by trying to find a legal path to avoiding his tyranny.

          -A woman of color who is scared out of her mind

    • Cellistec

      Thanks for the SURJ link. I’m white and feel like I don’t have the “credentials” to join BLM yet (as in, I gotta educate myself first so I can talk about the issues meaningfully despite not living them myself), so SURJ could be a good gateway group.

  • ElisabethJoanne

    Here’s what I’m doing (among other things): My holiday gift-giving will be about building community and civic knowledge. Not in a heavy-handed way, though. I just want to nudge my friends and family to get away from online partisan echo chambers.

    First, everyone on my gift list is getting casserole dishes with lids and totes, to encourage potlucks.

    About 6 magazine subscriptions are on my gift list. They won’t even all be news/politics. Obviously, magazines can be partisan, too – but if it needs to be relevant to enough subscribers (including libraries) to pay for actual printing presses, that’s a buffer.

    Likewise, I’m giving books.

    • A single sarah

      Love the potluck prodding! Send some casserole recipes too?

    • LadyMe

      I have commented on here before about how I think millenials need to step up their casserole game. I love the idea of giving casserole dishes and recipes as gifts!

      • CMT

        This is one criticism of millenials I can get behind :-P

  • A single sarah

    before facing the news this morning, I pulled out one of my prayer books and turned to the section on justice. I think helped set my tone for the day, so sharing with whoever is still reading the comments.

    Lead us from death to life,
    From falsehood to truth.
    Lead us from despair to hope,
    From fear to trust.
    Let peace fill our hearts,
    Our world,
    our universe.
    Let us dream together,
    pray together,
    work together,
    To build one world of peace and justice for all.

    • LadyMe

      “To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing,” by William Butler Yeats

      Now all the truth is out,
      Be secret and take defeat
      From any brazen throat,
      For how can you compete,
      Being honor bred, with one
      Who were it proved he lies
      Were neither shamed in his own
      Nor in his neighbors’ eyes;
      Bred to a harder thing
      Than Triumph, turn away
      And like a laughing string
      Whereon mad fingers play
      Amid a place of stone,
      Be secret and exult,
      Because of all things known
      That is most difficult.

      • Cellistec

        Thank you for that.

  • mssolo

    Coming at this from a post-Brexit perspective, the first thing to do is give yourself a week off. Mourn the country you thought you had, stay away from crowing media, do some self care.

    A lot of people are suggesting that now is the time to start talking to people they know who voted and trying to change their minds. I have to disagree. Those conversations need to be had, but now is a bad time to have them. People who voted Trump are feeling pleased, and relieved, and triumphant. They don’t want to countenance that they may have just made a huge mistake, and they’re going to push back really hard if you suggest that. They think the country agrees with them, and they’re much more likely to want you to understand their PoV than to be willing to understand yours. So…. be open to that. Now is not the time to tell them they shouldn’t have voted Trump, but the time to ask them why they did:

    Was it Trump they voted for, or a Republican government? This can make a difference to the rest of the conversation. A lot of people voted for Brexit because they saw it as a protest against our current political model, in the same way some people voted from Trump because he wasn’t a politician.

    Which of their concerns for the country was he tapping into? Remainers assumed immigration was the only reason people would vote for Brexit, and the Leavers resented being reduced to a single issue stereotype. Don’t assume you know why the person you’re talking to voted for Trump.

    Why did was finding a solution to that more important than the issues Trump brings with him? Even if they did vote for Trump because of fears around immigration, push back against BLM, sexist sentiments against Hillary, Islamophobia, homophobia… You have to go into the conversation assuming the person you’re talking to wanted what was best for the most people, and you need to let them explain how Trump represented that for them. This is going to be a very hard bit of the conversation, especially if the person tells you they are willing to sacrifice people like you for what they perceive to be the greater good.

    Where did they get their facts about the election from? There’s a real issue these days with the split between conservative and liberal media, the former being more prevalent on TV and the newspapers, the latter online. A lot of people still have minimal access to the internet. Ask this question to find out where they were looking for facts, so you’ll know in future where best to present them with facts. They’re more likely to believe evidence if it comes from a source they already trust. And if that evidence isn’t in that place, start thinking about how to get it there.

    What could Hillary (or anyone else) have done to make them vote differently? Maybe it’s nothing, but maybe it came down to a really tight call for that individual.

    Once you’ve had this conversation, then you’re ready for the next one, the one where you explain to them why their vote hurt you, and why you’re scared it’s hurt the whole nation. Make sure there’s a bit of breathing space between the conversations so you’re not going into it raw. You know what was important to them, you know where to find evidence they’re more likely to trust, you know what to encourage your representatives to campaign for next time to reach this person.

    You can’t change hearts and minds without knowing what’s on them first. You’ve got two years to make sure that person helps you turn the House of Representatives Democrat, but before you talk to them, first you’ve got to listen to them.

    • mssolo

      I should add, it absolutely sucks donkey balls than when you’re hurting and scared that suddenly the pressure is on you to be the empathetic ear to people who are laughing and crowing over your defeat. But their votes were won on a platform of fear, and it’s important to remember that – the people you’re talking to are scared too. You have that in common, and right now we need to find every possible link to unite ourselves again.

      • CMT

        Thank you so, so much for this perspective. <3

    • Jess

      Thank you for your perspective having been through this before! This was comforting having spent my yesterday among men who voted Cheeto and gloated.

      I cried at my hair appointment because the women at the chair next to me were talking about how horrified they were and I didn’t realize I had felt so alone until that moment.

      I know I have many acquaintances and family members who supported this decision, and I’ve been really struggling with how to face them.

    • Sarah E

      This is one of the most well-thought out responses and most helpful set of instructions for conversation I’ve seen. Would you mind if I shared some of your words on my Facebook page? I’m definitely saving them in hopes I can put them into action with my family and with bar patrons I serve.

      • mssolo

        Very flattered! Feel free to share; its stuff I picked up post Brexit, watching. I think the most useful thing for me that came out of it was realising that there was no point sharing my sources with people on the other side – they distrusted them just as much as I distrusted their sources. A Fox News viewer will never trust a New Yorker article and vice versa – if you trust the source, you’ll also trust them when they say the opposition is lying. If someone trusts you, BE the source. Talk to them in person, rather than linking them to news stories that will make them think you’ve been ‘fooled by the liberal media’.

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Now I’m getting angry. Now I’m ready to work.If any of you are part of Pantsuit Nation, look for more local groups. I’m now a member of a state-level chapter and smaller, more local one, the latter of which is jumping on all sort of local projects.

    • LadyMe

      Does Pantsuit Nation have non facebook groups? Like, is there a slack channel or something?

    • BSM

      How do you find your local chapter? I’ve also moved onto the rage portion of my grieving…

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        If you have one, you may or may not be able to see it depending on the group’s privacy settings. I was added by a friend who lives in the same state as me, and then someone within that group called for sub-groups to be created, and I joined the local one and added more people. I would ask in the main group about whether someone from your state/area can add you.

  • Alli

    Does anyone have any suggestions for how to navigate this Thanksgiving? I’m realizing avoiding talking about politics with my family is just not acceptable any more. Even though I’m terrified of confrontation, that pales in comparison to the terror some of my friends are facing right now.

    • Marcela

      I’m dealing with it by just not dealing with it. This year we were supposed to spend Thanksgiving with his family and I just can’t do it. So I’m not going. We’re still deciding whether my husband will still go up and what exactly we will tell his family about my absence. All I know is that I’m not doing it. I will instead go down and spend it with my sister and her fabulous family and see all of our wonderful supportive friends and surround myself with people who cherish me as a person.

    • Kelly

      This was one of my first thoughts after the dust settled. My family is horrified by the results but some in my husbands family support him. I am very serious in that I will leave thanksgiving dinner if one thing is said because I just don’t feel the need to indulge this BS

  • Ashlah

    Today is my first day back at work. Both of my female co-workers are sick and depressed. Both of my male bosses are shocked at the outcome, but much more optimistic that it won’t be that bad, that he’ll surround himself with good people. They don’t understand the visceral fear, the personal hurt. I hope it will be okay. They assume it will be.

    • Ashlah

      The suggestion of sending Hillary a thank you card has gone viral. Perhaps it’s a little silly (will she ever see them?), but the idea made me tear up and I think it will make me feel better. If anyone else is interested, this is the address circulating:

      Hillary Clinton
      Post Office Box 5256
      New York, NY 10185-5256

      • LadyMe

        Thank you. I’ve been composing thank you notes for her in my head all day. It’ll be good to actually write it down and send it.

      • CMT

        I am sure that she will at least be aware of them and probably see some of them. I’m definitely doing this, if only for the catharsis. But I’m sure it will help her, too.

      • Sarah E

        I definitely sent one. Perhaps a tiny spark of kindness, but I can’t help thinking of what she’s going through.

    • BSM

      Well, there are reports out that Steve Bannon is likely to be his Chief of Staff. Not a promising sign.

      • Ashlah

        Yeah, I just read a list on Buzzfeed of potential appointments. None of it looks good. I don’t think my bosses have a clue, and are just repeating the talking point they’ve heard during the campaign (even though they weren’t Trump supporters).

      • Lisa

        Did you see the report about Palin for Secretary of the Interior? I laughed to keep from crying.

  • ART

    A few things I have been doing:
    1) Making zero-interest loans to people of color in the U.S. via kiva.org. Their U.S. loans work differently from their international loans and are truly zero-interest, and based on broad community support. Look for something local if you can. Use those businesses if you can. https://www.kiva.org/lend/kiva-u-s
    2) When my alma mater asks me for a donation, I ONLY donate to their equity & inclusion program.
    3) We are currently looking for our first house. In researching school districts, I am actively looking for things like restorative practices and participating in inclusive events like Pride. Once we make our decision I intend to reach out to school board members/superintendents to either affirm my support for those things and/or push them to do more. Here is an example I am pretty impressed with so far: http://www.slzusd.org/introRP
    4) In the weeks leading up to the election, I got involved with Color of Change PAC’s massive texting campaign. They are a cool organization and worth checking out/joining their mailing list for future actions: https://www.colorofchangepac.org/
    5) Look up your local police department and find out if they have community events (we have “coffee with the cops” once a month). Contact them or go to an event and speak up/ask questions about their approaches to community accountability, deescalation, etc.
    6) And what the hell, sign this petition: https://www.change.org/p/electoral-college-electors-electoral-college-make-hillary-clinton-president-on-december-19

    I know there’s more. I also know that there’s a thing called Compassion Fatigue, and my advice to everyone in this hangover phase is to try not to overwhelm yourself today. Choose the things that you can strongly defend and that you know will make a difference. Link up with people working on other things and learn from them, support them, know that you’re not alone, but also know that you don’t have to carry every single cause, in full, on your own shoulders, you’ll break under that weight.

  • Crystal

    I’m still at a loss. I work in college education, and part time in retail, and a few days out the month health care as a patient actress.My fiance works in health care and is a painter/muralist.

    We are both black and had so many plans around our marriage and future. Now I don’t know what is going to happen to those dreams.

    Will we still have our day jobs as we knew them? What will happen to day care? Will we be able to afford to have a baby now? Get a bigger car and apartment ? Right now we are living in what was my Bachelorette pad. A small but cute 1 bedroom and a half and omg we need more space.

    I just…I’m worried. And that’s the little things. Racist activity has been reportedly increassing where we live. I was already afraid for our lives via the constant broadcasting of police murders of black people, now this…. How do we survive?