My Fear is My Strength

By Kat Reynders (Undergraduate at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland)

The night of the election I went to sleep halfway across the world confident in America’s ability to come together, showing the world and each other that we stand together undivided by hatred and negativity.  

I woke up and promptly felt disbelief, sadness, and fear. I couldn’t understand how the country I call home could make a decision that is so devastating for women, people of color, Muslims, and people in the LGBT+ community, among others. I had so much faith in America, but I underestimated how many of us were too upset with the way our government is and could see no other option, and how many of us identified and agreed with the horrific things that Donald Trump has said and encouraged.

I’m a bisexual woman, and I am afraid. A lot of people are afraid. And we have valid reasons to feel this way, reasons that are not limited to the policies that Trump has promised to enact that will negatively affect so many of us. But when we speak of our fears, especially on social media, there is this backlash from people saying “it won’t be that bad” or “you’ve nothing to be afraid of” or “you’ve just been misled by the media.”

The thing is, you don’t get to tell me how to feel. I am scared for myself, my family, and my country. But my fear is my strength, and I will use it to help me move forward, to continue to fight for my rights and the rights of my fellow Americans. Despite everything, I am still a proud American, and I deserve better than to be afraid in the country I call home.