I’ve been a nasty woman since before I was even born. When my bleeding-heart liberal, over-educated parents discovered that they were going to spawn a little girl, they decided to give her an Irish boy’s name, because they always admired the Irish spirit, and wanted to raise a creature tougher than any man who ever lived. They decided on Delaney, a name meaning “Descendant of the challenger”. Years later, when I spent the summer living in Ireland and my nights hanging out in pubs, a stranger who asked my name would tell me that Delaney is a name given to warriors. “Delaney?!” He said, spilling his Guinness on my shoe, “It must have taken some crazy-ass American to give ya a name like that!” It did. My mother had me strapped to her belly at animal rights protests before I was even a year old. My crazy-ass American parents raised me with 3 values: question everything, never give up, and never give in.
For the most part, I’ve stuck to that. I gained a reputation in school for being “Bossy” for behaving like my male classmates and standing up to other students and, if my tiny nasty little heart deemed it necessary, the teachers. Years later, I argued my way into a great job that I love despite not being as qualified as other candidates, and now I sit at my very own gigantic desk with a beautiful window view and little idea of how I got there.
That’s why I was surprised to find that when I woke up this morning, I briefly decided to just give up. I don’t have a place in Trump’s America. I’m a lesbian who is vocal about being a lesbian. I’m a vegetarian. I don’t like guns. I don’t shut my trap. I’d probably rank a 4 on his scale of attractiveness, not attractive enough to listen to or grope. And, to top it all off, I’m a woman.
Then, I scrolled through social media and saw what seemed like thousands of posts made by LGBT youth who said they were planning to commit suicide. They’d given up hope completely. This means that we may be robbed of thousands of innocent, powerful voices who simply want to live and love the way they were born to. All because they don’t have a place in Trump’s dystopian future.
And you know what? They’re right. They don’t have a place. Neither did the LGBT community under the Reagan era, under which a lot of them died, or even long before that. We have to make a place. That’s what America is all about.
Trump might represent a large portion of the population who is racist, homophobic, transphobic, antisemetic, islamophobic, and every other awful thing, but he doesn’t represent America as a whole (or even half–it looks like Hillary, like Al Gore in 2,000, won the popular vote). The citizens do, and we can still do something.
Personally, I resolved to start writing more again and go to protests when I hear about them. I won’t shut up. My genes won’t let me. I come from a long line of incredible people like my mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and all the way back, women who have stood up for themselves and didn’t give in until their dying breath–and by then, they’d left behind another nasty woman to take their place.
Bring it on, baby. I’ve been training for this since gestation.