this is like that moment in the horror movie when the psycho has escaped the tv set
this is like that moment when the tv series has killed off of one your favorite long-time characters, and everyone is like, it’s over and you scour the next week preview clips for a sign and then tune in thinking there will be a last minute reprieve because how could they kill that person off, they couldn’t, could they? and they did.
this is like that moment when you google your childhood bully to see if that thing everyone said about them peaking early or getting stuck and being miserable when they grow up is true and you find out it isn’t because your former bully actually has a much, much, much better job, and life, than you do
this is the moment when you realize that arrogant, affluent shithead who used to cheat his homework and tests off of you and everyone else, that he also used to tease and laugh at when he didn’t need something, probably continued to be an arrogant, affluent shithead who got away with whatever he wanted
(this is when you also want to point out that that arrogant, affluent shithead’s cheating fucked up the grading curve and lowered yours and a lot of people’s scores)
(fuck that arrogant, affluent shithead)
this is the moment when you realize you don’t trust your neighbors
this is like the moments after someone has died, but worse, because at least those moments aren’t usually mixed with fear and anxiety
this is the moment where you see the shit, and you see the fan and someone turns it on because they want to try something different, yeah, this’ll be different, or more of the same shit flying
this is when for the briefest moment you realize that you and your LGBTQ+ community have been through tougher days and you came through and made progress to get here and you can do it again
oh, fuck, fuck, fuck, this is the moment directly following the above moment when you realize you don’t want to do all that shit again, you already got here, you don’t want to go backwards
this is the moment when you think you know how Sisyphus must have felt if he’d given years of his life to being a queer and feminist activist and just watched a giant, fake-tanned overblown Trump head roll down over all his hard work
this is like the moment when you are watching a movie and you find out the call is coming from inside your house
this is the moment when you look at the window and feel panic like people are going to be coming for you
this is the moment you are finally grateful for a history of anxiety and panic attacks because even though your heart won’t stop racing at least you know how to tell yourself you aren’t actually dying
this is the moment when you realize how much you have absorbed over the years from every bully, every grope, sexually harassing comment, every homophobic douchebag asking with a snark if he “can watch” when he finds out you’re bi, all the years of fighting for rights or fuck just some respect, all the years of fighting for your friends’ rights or just some fucking respect, every coalition building racism/white privilege 101 training gone wrong, every ignorant slur and comment said or yelled at you from a car, every time some creeper guy followed you home “flirting” while you tried to figure out where to go so he wouldn’t know where you actually lived and fuck can’t a gal just run some errands or get a slice of pizza, every time someone vandalized something with a swastika or the word fag or something else you took as an implied threat, and all those many, many, many, many times you had to hurriedly walk to your car alone at night and you did it spending those five to ten minutes with your keys or a pen in your hand thinking if anyone fucks with me I’m gonna stab them in the neck because gay bashers and rape culture, and every time you had to go through security to get in to a LGBTQ+ or Jewish community center, or that night you were sitting at the queer center and a volunteer was checking the voicemail and mentioned there was another death threat and then had to reassure a freaked out looking guy not to worry – we get one of those a week and you sat there thinking I’ve been doing this shit too long because this seems normal to me, the word abomination, that time the week of your eighteenth birthday when you were passing out queer youth political pamphlets and that family walked by saying “we should kill those rats,” that time you were marching in an annual pride parade and it got tear gassed, every time you were told you were going to burn in hell (including from family members), and a bunch of other stuff I can’t think of right now, but all of that you realize you have absorbed over the years it is spilling out and you are reliving the pain and trauma of it now
this is the moment you wish your mom would have waited until after the election to unfriend that narrow-minded relative you stopped talking to years ago, so she could unfriend them now – you blew your wad early, mom
this is the moment when you are watching a nighttime talk show and all the straight, white, cisgender, non-Muslim, non-Jewish, non-Sikh (because this is America and hardly anyone can tell Sikh from Muslim here), probably able-bodied guests say they are disappointed with the election result but that’s how the other side would feel if they had lost and some shit about coming together and moving on and you think: wow, it must really be nice to be straight, white, cisgender, non-Muslim, non-Jewish, non-Sikh, and able-bodied, the rest of us should have tried that and you realize that you feel even more alone because even the people that agreed with you on the eve of the Trumpocalypse don’t really get it
this is the moment you start to realize how many progressives will throw you and yours under a bus for “unity” and so they can feel better
this is the moment when you don’t want to talk to people who with their vote showed a disregard for the dignity, rights, humanity and most importantly safety of you and people you care about, no you don’t want to talk to them about their fucking feelings, you don’t want to talk to anyone
this is the moment when you email your friend to ask: why do fucking straight white people have to make everything about themselves?
this is the moment you see people arguing about if this country is more racist than sexist or more sexist than racist and seriously!? we’re still having the which group is (acceptably) oppressed more argument, we’re all fucked and we’re all fucked more if we keep fighting each other instead of … oh I am so fucking tired of this shit, go read some Kimberlé Crenshaw and get back to me
this is like the moment when you realize that even though the tv series you like keeps bringing in new characters you like and then killing them off, that one fucking villain keeps popping up in episodes every fucking season, damn it Newt Gingrich, you again?!
this is that moment when you’re like, whoa, anti-Semitism, we’re going classic and then you realize that Jews are welcome and not on the left and the right, hey, Jews are the bisexuals of the political left-right divide, and this shit’s so depressing, that’s actually a little funny to you
this is the moment you realize that as a queer, Jewish, feminist who actually gives a shit about other people that all the scary monsters under your bed are now heading to the white house to have a party
this is the moment when you realize, nope, nope, nope, not ready to watch the news again yet
this is the moment when you try yet again to masturbate and can’t because every time you try to touch yourself you hear “grab them by the pussy” in your head
this is the moment you realize your heart is no longer racing, your head has stopped pounding, you no longer feel like you are going to throw up and you are almost able to function normally other than being distracted and numb and you realize that soon this fucked up outcome will be normalized too, like eight years of W normalized, but this time worse, again, that we won’t learn, we won’t really change …
this is the moment you hate people, but then that’s what half your country voted for: hate and division – welcome to the Trumpscape.
Deborah Chava Singer is originally from San Diego, California where she studied truth with the Mesa College Theatre Company and Queer Players. She currently resides in Washington state and identifies as queer, polyamorous, bisexual, femme, Jewiccan, bitch, oh and so many other things. Her writing has appeared in M– USE, Jonathan, Chaffin, Cirque, Heart and Mind Zine, Snapdragon, Twisted Vine, Labletter, Off the Rocks 18: An Anthology of GLBT Writing, Rockhurst Review, Trajectory and Steam Ticket.
Photo by: Ana Prundaru