And I live in a very red area of the nation.
And people's overt reactions to the queer community following the election are a pretty damning statement of what it means to live in "Trump's America."
Because here's the thing. It doesn't matter whether Trump does what he said he would do during his campaign (though evidence is mounting that he will). Because the fact that he built his campaign on the promises he did means that he collected a gaggle of like-minded followers who are reveling in the fact that "they won" and are strutting their pride on the streets all over this country.
No matter what happens in the Oval Office or in Congress or in the Supreme Court, the fact remains that there are millions of people who voted for this man because of his campaign. They wanted him to win.
So what does that mean for my family? For me?
I am out. I have been for about five years. My wife is out. I don't shy away from the word "gay" around our kids and we explain that it doesn't matter if you love someone who identifies as male or female or who is androgynous (or any other variation of gender).
But there are people around us who are getting more bold about disagreeing with a "lifestyle" like mine. Or the fact that there are immigrants who live in this country. Or that not everyone is a Christian. Vocally. About taking action (even violently) to protest what they believe to be wrong.
And people are getting hurt.
And the government is not stepping in as it should. In fact, quite the opposite in some cases, like in Ohio.
That makes me afraid. The people who are supposed to be protecting Americans and American residents are taking legislative action to instead discriminate against Americans and, in fact, take actions leading to grave harm.
Did you know that the Affordable Care Act is in the process of being repealed? (My wife and I currently have health insurance through the marketplace, and we both have pre-existing conditions. She is a cancer survivor, and I have fibromyalgia.)
With everything going on in this country in the last couple of months, with all of the hirings and firings, with all of the legislative changes and bold violent acts of hate, I can't help but worry for the safety of my family and myself.
We are on the outside in "Trump's America." We don't fit into the narrow mold he has created for what America looks like.
And I shudder to think what is going to happen in the future as he, his administration, and the people who voted for him begin working toward creating that America.
Trump talked about "draining the swamp."
But what he didn't tell you was that before he did, he'd be populating it with alligators.
So all I can do is protect my family. And I will fight every day from where I am (this blog, social media, among my family and friends) to let anyone and everyone know that
this is not okay.
Trump's words and actions are not okay. The election was not okay. The actions of the American people under Trump's name are not okay. And it is my right and duty as an American citizen to fight for my rights.
I may be scared. But I will never stop.
*Puck and Tink are from my first marriage (to a man), but Bo and I raise the kids when we have timesharing (Florida's term for visitation) with them, and she is their mom as much as I am.