Election 2012: I just cried for the last hour and a half from joy

There were a lot of things to consider today (yesterday) when I voted (for the first time!). I voted according to my beliefs and I voted for Obama. That said I am so happy with my choice. For those who voted differently than I did, or even the same but for different reasons, know I'm not looking to pick a fight-- Like I said, a lot went into this election and how you vote and I'm not in your head.

But let me just take a minute to try to articulate how monumental tonight was for me. What this election meant to me.

I live in a formerly Red state which has, in recent political cycles, become a swing state, a fact that I attribute not only to demographic shifts but also the recent surge in young voters. We are making a difference. We are making our voices heard. Let's take a look at how absurdly close my state was.
via Google and AP

My vote made a difference. It is an incredible feeling and I know it is a lot harder for those in "settled" Red or Blue states, but man, only after so many more of us started getting in there did this become possible. So don't just vote, but also get out the vote and encourage others to do so as well.

Let me just also state that although many issues came into play, and I had to weigh many different things based on what I prioritize. It's not so much about people caring or not caring about economy, the military, civil rights, etc. but about the way they order them. They're all important but it's really in the way we prioritize them that makes the difference. To me, the issue of LGBTIQ/GSM rights (and civil rights in general) is extremely important to me.

I spent the first hour after the announcement shouting around campus-- walking around our little patch of swamp and cheering, singing, and high-fiving fellow TWAMPs-- and then I came back, adrenaline-posted on facebook, and then I just started sobbing because this victory and the victories for gay rights across the country tonight just meant so much to me.

I have a lot of friends of gender-sexual minorities and so this was so monumental for me. Being someone who is very vocal about my support for gay rights (and also being good at serving as everyone's relationship counselor and almost a therapist) I have listened to many of my LGBTetc. friends' stories and troubles. Contemplations of suicide, heartbreak, terror, and just so much hurt and fear and sometimes even hopelessness, all of which for the most part has been ignored, institutionalized, or de-emphasized as a special interest, not an attack on civil rights and human dignity. The outcome of tonight's ballots was important to me because it symbolized America standing up and opening their arms to these kids and adults alike who've been ostracized, isolated, terrorized, broken, and driven to darker depths than I have ever known. So here's to fewer bad days, an affirmation that their lives, mental health, safety, and general well-being are a priority, and to fewer assaults, suicides, and untimely funerals. Let's not forget that lives were saved tonight.

Here's a very powerful video that I watched as the results were pouring in-- and absolutely lose it to. This video and song get me every time. This video is a reminder of what kind of America I wanted to fight for and what kind of societal norms I wanted to stand against.


Same Love - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft Mary Lambert

A big kudos to everyone who did their civic duty and exercised their right to vote-- a privilege that many people are still denied and even die for. And remember, no matter what the outcome of this election, you can still change things-- you can volunteer, write to and meet with your elected officials, contribute to political discourse, educate your friends, and more. The election results aren't the be-all-end-all, and you still have a voice.

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2 comments:

  1. I was so proud to cast my vote for Obama yesterday, even though I had to drag my travel-weary ass out of bed at 6AM to do it! I was getting a little worried seeing how it close it was, but I'm so happy with the results. It really is a victory for LGBT and Woman's rights.

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    1. I was having heart palpitations as the results were streaming in. My gov major roommate was shouting at the tv and was telling both me and CNN not to make such a big deal out of the earliest results since they don't mean much because they're so unsubstantial and don't mean anything xD It was still nerve-wracking though! I imagine being a Florida voter you had similar feelings!

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