[TW: Passing mentions of self-harm and food things]Tuesday night I was supposed to play a game. “What if you had to have an orgasm for every blue state win?” my sir proposed, and I giggled with glee. The first thing he had said to me that morning was “Make sure you vote today, pup” and our shared enthusiasm about this election had me bursting with affection for him. I wanted to hug him. I wanted to make out with him, and cuddle him while we watched our country elect it’s first woman president.
“Your politics are so hot” I said.
I wondered if I’d be able to have that many orgasms. There are so many states, and I was sure they’d all be blue. At least most of them would be blue. Some of them, surely, would have to be blue.
I was on the LIRR commuting back to my home in Queens,1 I told him I’d have to catch up when I got home, but by the time I got there I wasn’t in the mood for orgasms. I wasn’t in the mood for anything. I curled up in a pair of pajamas with my laptop in my lap and watched as my country did the unthinkable.
His hope lasted longer than mine did, he had spent most of the night reassuring me, but by 12:30 or so he deemed everything awful and went to bed. I fell asleep around 2, my arms still wrapped tight around my laptop.
By 3 I woke to Donald Trump’s face. A banner naming him our new President-elect spread out beneath his picture. I watched Van Jones coin the phrase whitelash, to describe what had just happened, and I closed the laptop. I felt numb. We lost.
Wednesday morning I woke up with my cheeks already wet with tears. Those of you that know me know how hard it is for me to cry, I hate it and I don’t do it, but Wednesday I did. Wednesday I cried on the subway, and at work. My Canadian friends checked on me and I cried. My sir sent me a message telling me how much he cared about me and I cried. I couldn’t bare to watch Hilary’s concession speech, but every quote I saw made my eyes well up again. For the first time in my life I took selfies with tear stained cheeks.
I refused to hide my pain, because I knew my country shared it, and those that didn’t needed to see it.
Wednesday morning, as I turned to walk out the door, I noticed the knife I sometimes use when I want to self harm. It’s a remenant of a relationship that harmed me in countless ways and I like the symbolism. I’ve always been rather dramatic. I put it in my bag.
Wednesday morning I sat on the train looking into the faces of my fellow commuters, wondering who hurt the way I did? Who didn’t realize the implications of what had happened? Who was happy?
Wednesday morning I didn’t feel safe.
Wednesday afternoon I thought I might move to Toronto. I picked out an Air BnB. I looked at bus tickets.
Wednesday night was the first time I ate something since the results started coming in. It was 11pm, I had baked ziti with the perfectly crisped mozzarella on top.Thursday I was angry.
I went to work at my vanilla job, full of people who were apathetic about the election. People who thought “they were both awful” or who couldn’t even be bothered to vote. Women who didn’t care. People of color who didn’t care. People who I thought would understand, but couldn’t fathom why I was wracked with grief and fear.
Thursday I was surprised.
People who had never been political with me before came to me, “How are you?” they asked, with more weight than any other day. “No, how are you?” they asked, and I knew they meant it.
There was the person who brought me breakfast because he was sure I hadn’t eaten, and the person who told me he had worried about me the day before. He told me wanted to make sure I wasn’t alone but didn’t have a way to reach out to me.
Thursday night everything didn’t quite feel like complete shit anymore.Friday morning I woke up and realized I hadn’t jerked off in nine days. I’d never had those orgasms I owed the 18 states that actually went blue. I rolled over, pulled the blankets tight around me, and texted my sir.
“Jerking off is a political act.” he replied.
So I did.
If you feel at risk for self-harm please remember you are not alone.
The Trevor Project: 866-4-U-Trevor
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
GBLT National Help Center: 888-The-GLNH
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK
- I’d had to travel two hours out to vote at my old address on Long Island [↩]