One year ago I was celebrating my birthday with an extra deal of excitement: in a bar one-block-away from the White House, wearing a “Nasty Women” t-shirt, surrounded by friends anxiously and happily waiting for the first women to be elected President of the United States. Just like me, there were other foreigners who had chose the United States to make home, and were thrilled to be witnessing such an important moment for the country.
It was a real party. Everyone was excited watching history being made. There were drinks named “Hillary Clinton” and “Barack Obama.” Lots of televisions surrounded us, signs of “Love Trump Hate” and “Love your Neighbor.” As I welcome my new age, I couldn’t be happier with the day of the elections and the excitement of all those people.
And then the unimaginable started to happen. Things start to look “weird, then to look bad, and then scary. Very scary. The bar that was agitated, happy and full of energy gradually started to go quiet. The party went silent. The music was gone, some people started to cry in disbelief. All eyes were on the televisions, no more drinking, chatting or celebration. The unimaginable was happening… a man with no political knowledge, accused of sexually harassed women was going to be the new president of the United States,
We all knew the implications if the elections went the wrong way, yet we didn’t expect it to happen. Each of us had a reason to be scared: some for the way they look, others for their gender or sex orientation. We feared not only for ourselves, but for our undocumented neighbors, our muslins friends, and our black and latina sisters. We feared for the end of foreign policy the way we knew, and for the young guys in the front lines.
But what could we do? At that moment on the night of November 8, a bar that was full of energy went quiet. And then the resistance quick started with quiet murmurs: “Let’s go to the White House, this can’t happen, let’s protest.” Others, “the elections were rigged, he sexually harassed women, he will not be the president of the United States.” Some “This is not real.” But the truth is… it was happening. The new president of the United States had been elected, and it was not a woman.
People started to fade away, some walking towards the White House. Others going home.
I joined the group going to the White House, not sure what to expect. In the end of the day I am not American, why would I get involved? Because even though I am not American, I love that country and I spent my life fighting for human rights and minority groups – it was not time to go quiet.
There were a lot of people in front of the White House, and quick more and more people started to arrive. Everyone was in shock and disbelief. People were yelling, crying, but mostly, fearing for what would happen next. I stayed there for less than an hour, I knew things would change for worst, and they would change quick, and I just couldn’t handle all the thoughts in my mind.
One year has passed, a little more than 9 months since inauguration.
We all know what has been happening since then. Hate speech is on the rise, mass shootings are happening, the world holds it breaths waiting for a war. Minorities are scared. Americans DREAMER’s being deported or living in fear. Kids scared their undocumented parents will be deported. Women with less and less access to abortions and contraceptive pills. Homosexuals being targeted. And etc etc etc. The land of freedom turned out to be “free for some” and “scary for others.”
As I celebrate my birthday back in my homecountry, watching what is happening in the United States from a distance, it breaks my heart to see what is going on in the country I love. I had to leave, with a broken heart and broken dreams. I am still a strong advocate for human rights, women rights, migrants’ rights and all minority groups – and I will do it forever. What is happening with DREAMER’s is insanely wrong, the recent law withdrawing VISA’s from Nicaraguans is dreadful. BUT I am not a citizen of the United States, not even a green card holder. While I fought for everyone, not everyone was fighting for me.
In three years I hope to celebrate my birthday with a huge party and good news near the White House. I hope all groups have rights and safety, no matter where they are… I hope the United States find the way back to be the land of freedom and the “American Dream” becomes a reality again…