You may have noticed I’ve been MIA for the last few days. Or maybe you didn’t. The reason, though, is that I gave myself some time to enjoy my anniversary with my husband. And I got some time to really reflect on the last two years of my marriage.
For those of you that don’t know, my husband and I met freshman year of college. For a brief time, we were at the same university. We were 18 years old and we had no idea what love or life was really about. Three years later, we decided to turn our passion infused friendship into a full blown romance. We never looked back.
Long story short, we fell in love and things are amazing. I truly am married to my best friend. We spent a long time learning to love each other and, as a result, we built a foundation I have faith in… a foundation that has become more vital than ever in the last few months.
I realize that this post is a personal one, but it’s important to me. Trump’s presidential victory in November threw a rope of tension into our marriage that we had never experienced before and, if I’m frank, I am grateful for it.
Before Trump’s victory, the socioeconomic and racial differences that exist between my husband and me were never really something we addressed. We didn’t need to. We were living in a world that allowed us both the luxury of living with naivety. And our combined privilege (his whiteness, my seeming-whiteness, his maleness, our hetero-ness) underscored that luxury. In the last few months, though, that luxury has been stripped from us and the realities of our differences laid bare. The real work of learning to learn each other and support one another has begun.
We have been forced to look at the chasm that exists between us. Of course, we didn’t create it, but it’s there and it is wide. We have been forced to study this chasm, to understand the darkness that lies deep inside it, and to learn the skills/humility we would need to build a bridge across it. This bridge can only exist because of the strong foundation we built up until this point. But that doesn’t mean that building it has been easy.
I know that I have written about inter-racial marriages before, and I know that I have mentioned how my husband and I have had to learn to navigate what it means to be in one, but I wanted to take the time today to underscore just how important our journey has been.
We have challenged one another to grow. We have challenged one another to stand firm in our convictions and stand up to our friends/families who have cosigned Trump’s hateful and oppressive agenda. We have challenged one another to limit the space for people who are oppression apologists. We have challenged one another to make space for thoughts we might be uncomfortable with, but need to face.
In choosing to marry my husband, I gained an incredible partner, but we must remember that partnership is a process based in the ability to overcome hardship together. And for a minute, I truly believed that Trump’s presidential victory added a hurdle to our lives that we weren’t prepared for or aware of. In reality, though, it just unveiled one that was already there and challenged us to face it head on. It has been painful process. It has been uncomfortable. It took us a few jumps to make it over, but we did. And the experience has been necessary and love-deepening.
To the interracial couples out there who are struggling in the wake of this resurgence of hate and oppression: you are far from alone. This forced awakening has been abrupt and difficult, but I think that in the end, it will make us stronger. It will make us better equipped to provide our children with the tools to challenge privilege (both their own and that of others) and stand against oppression. It will force us to have the hard conversations and deepen the bonds of our partnership. And to everyone who has seen their relationships and friendships fall apart in the Trump shitstorm, it’s OK. Seriously, watch the video below:
It really really is OK. Regardless of the nature of your relationship, it is OK to end it because of Trump. Some things just can’t be saved. And honestly, the people who support Donald Trump or make excuses for those who do are not the people you want in your life. Rewatch the video above. These people are fucking deplorable. I don’t care what anyone says about me for saying that. The racial slurs, the gendered insults, the homophobic language, the blatant violence against people of color, the nazi salutes… and ALL of it inspired and cosigned by Trump? That’s enough evidence for me that these people don’t belong in my life. And neither do the people who make excuses for them. For every Trump supporter/apologist I have lost, I have gained an amazing new friend and/or ally. Nothing like a national-personal-global fucking tragedy to show you who your people are, amirite?
Honestly, if my husband had voted for Trump, I don’t think our marriage would have survived it. And no, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. This is not some average political difference of opinion. This is about values, humanity, empathy, respect… and if someone can support Trump, or make an excuse for those who do, I have no issues ending the relationship. I have and will continue to quietly cull my friend group and limit contact with Trump-supporting/apologist family. And I have no problem admitting my husband would be part of that process if he had voted for DJT.
Thankfully, though, he’s amazing and never even considered doing something so horrendous. He’s been anti-Trump since the jump, but it took us a while to get to a point where we completely understood how the election results impacted us in different ways. It took us a long time to get to a place where we understood how the other needed to process and handle the aftermath, but we did it. And in the end, he is doing the work that every white ally needs to be doing in the Trump era. He has marched in every march with me, whether its focus was Black Lives Matter or Anti-Trump activism. He is actively challenging the views of his friends and family that have chosen to vote with their whiteness rather than their conscience. And even more importantly, he is actively challenging friends and family who define themselves as “liberal,” but still harbor harmful, oppressive views on race, gender, immigration, Islam, etc.
Anyway, this long post exists just to say: my husband is the partner I have always wished for. He inspires me and challenges me in ways I don’t always love, but that I always need. He has catalyzed my transformation into the woman I am today. Together, we have grown into intersectional feminist, anti-fascist, anti-racist activists. I am so proud to be his wife. And I am so grateful to Donald Trump, his followers, and their apologists for giving us the fire we needed to see the divide between us. It is only as a result of this that we were able to build a bridge of progress right across the years of deep-seeded division. So if you don’t have a partner and/or friends who can do this with you, you need to work on finding that. A partnership and a tribe is the only way we are going to get through this. Resistance is not a singular endeavor, but a group effort. So get with us :). On this side of the chasm, we take anyone who is ready to stand against oppression and hate.