As I mentioned, on Election Night, a small group of friends gathered at my house. Between the six of us, we represented a number of the communities who were targeted by our president-elect during his campaign: Women, Latinos, immigrants, Jews, gay people, disabled people, survivors of sexual assault.
We were a decidedly pro-Hillary house. We hoped to celebrate, and feared that we would not. When the results came in, and our fears were realized, we were relieved to be together in that terrible moment.
In the middle of that long night, my phone lit up. More friends on the end of the line, sobbing with the pain of rejection and fear. A Black mother, queer men, an Asian couple, feminist women, a person who relies on Obamacare. All of us crying each other's names and saying, over and over, "I love you."
They were words of comfort and reassurance, but they were also our first words of resistance to each other.
We are the resistance. And part of resisting this mandate of hatred is caring hard for one another. Valuing each other. Meeting the politics of division with solidarity.
Tonight, I am sitting in the thought that "I love you" were the first words for which we reached as the sickening realization washed over us that we were emerging as the resistance. I am holding onto that hard. It's all I've got right now, even though I am keenly, agonizingly aware that love won't save our lives.
Love won't stop determined state-sanctioned harm. Love won't prevent death resulting from a lack of access to healthcare. Love won't slow climate change, or fund Planned Parenthood, or convince our president-elect not to institute stop-and-frisk across the country, thereby ensuring more deadly encounters between people of color and police.
Love won't save our lives.
But it's a place for me to start, to ground myself for this fight.
To love and to value people who are under attack. To make clear that their lives matter, their rights matter, their safety matters. To center empathy. To remember to love myself.
There are people in this country who want to tell us they think we are worthless, but they cannot make us believe it.
Because even in defeat, love trumps hate.
People will resist for different reasons, with different motivations. But this is mine. I will fight with rage, with grief, with tenacity, with passion, with fear, with hope. But I will fight from a place of love. Fierce, fixed, expansive love for the people who have been targeted by hatred.
What I want you to know is that I will be fighting because you matter to me. And there isn't an office on this planet powerful enough to subvert that, no matter who fills it.