Dear Mr. President,
I watched your inauguration.
I went back and forth on whether or not I wanted to see it. But just your luck, I was at the laundromat on Friday, and my laundry finished up a few minutes before noon, so I made time to go back to my building and find a TV. I was able to watch you take an oath to lead our country and make a speech that received a smattering of applause.
Later that night, I went to a protest with some of my friends. While I was there, I was surrounded with people with that also did not agree with you. We yelled, marched and listened to speeches. Afterward, my friends and I went to dinner, and then I went home, watched my favorite movie and slept.
Here’s the thing, Mr. President, that I have realized since I first wrote a reflection a week prior to your election: life goes on.
Make no mistake, I am still scared of you and the people that support you. The last year has been terrible, to know that there are so many people that vehemently hate myself, my friends and even people I have yet to meet for a mere part of who we are, whether that be our gender, our sexuality, our race or our religion. There are moments when I have to pause to think about what you mean for me, the people dearest to me, our health, our planet, our very well-being. I cannot come up with a single good thing about you and yes that scares me — as it should.
But here’s something else I have had time to think about: There have always been people like you. People that spew hateful things and that still manage to lead. They are destructive and divisive, but they are not new. You are not new.
That is not to say that you are not dangerous. There are plenty who will not survive your presidency. Some will die in wars you are almost certain to start. Some will die because you robbed them of their healthcare or their livelihood. Some will die at the hands of hate-filled people who feel you have given them permission to do whatever they want. Some will die by their own hand because they simply cannot live in a world where you are leading us.
These people will not survive you, and they should not be forgotten.
But I intend to survive you.
I will continue to live my life in spite of you and the people that do not want me to be happy. I will go to my classes and get my education. I will continue to make my opinions known. I will be kind to those around me and challenge those with which I disagree. I will love, and I will hate because quite frankly there are people in this world that deserve my hatred.
I realize that being able to say this comes from a place of great privilege. I am a gay woman who speaks her mind, and that in itself is dangerous. But I also do not have to fear being hurt because of my race, my gender identity, or my religion, all of which are now being viciously attacked in not only this country but this world as a whole. If I am to keep going, then I want to not only to do so for myself but for all the people who are not able to.
I am afraid of you, Mr. President, but I am not cowering. I am not hiding. I am learning and growing and thriving and getting back up when I am knocked down. I am doing what you would hate most of all.
I am living.
Delaney Murray is a freshman studying journalism with a focus in news and information at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What does Trump's administration mean to you? Let Delaney know by emailing her at email@example.com or tweeting her at @delpaulinem.