Letter to the Editor: I’m here if you need me


(Photo: Jayde Vogeler/The Simpsonian)

by Walker Mask, Special to The Simpsonian

The night of the election, as I watched the results come in, I realized fairly early that Donald Trump would become the next president of our country. My initial response was a mixture of frustration and sadness, which evolved as the night went on, keeping me up and allowing me to think about the future.

The next morning, I was fine. I had fully processed all of my emotions and I was ready to return back to my normal optimistic self, but my friends were not. Many of my closest friends didn’t even go to class, and some were upset to the point of breaking down into tears. If you’re asking why, it’s because most of my friends are people of color, women, in a religious minority, sufferers of mental illness, sexual assault survivors, a part of the LGBTQ+ community or some combination of these. Specifically, we are the people targeted by Trump and Pence, and much of the Republican Party and its voters. And we are afraid.

What I am offering to the people that are feeling lost, afraid, betrayed, frustrated, angry or any overwhelming negative emotion is advice and encouragement. These are the emotions that took over as each red state was revealed, and they not foreign to me. I had the same feeling last night as I had for eight years of my life. Growing up gay in Texas gives you some experience on how to handle harassment and the feelings that a majority of where you live has decided that you don’t count as a person. As someone with both experience in dealing with homophobia and the mental state that sudden depression can put you in, I want to help everyone out.

So what I am giving to the community of Simpson is my experience in dealing with this situation. The morning after the election I posted to Facebook that my messages are open, and I would be available for advice, comfort and encouragement all day in Kent. The people that I spoke with have driven me to extend this until I feel people no longer need it. I will be in Kent every day to talk to anyone about anything, or answer any questions about how to get through this. I’ll even chat with you if you want to just complain about the election in general (maybe you’re Republican and didn’t want Trump). We are stronger together.