I am a game developer. I am an interactive fiction author. The games I create do not spring from the empty air, but from my experiences as a human being surrounded by human beings. For that reason, I need to write about being a human today, rather than game development.
Game development, and the love of gaming, stretches across political lines. I am fairly sure that there are Trump supporters reading this post. I hope that, through my writing and games and correspondence, you know me as a person and perhaps a friend.
Today, Donald Trump is the president-elect of my country. He did not win the popular vote (under the current count, 0.02% more people voted for Hillary Clinton) and I did not vote for him, but he did win the electoral college. There is every reason to believe he will be sworn into office on Friday, January 20.
Dear Trump supporter: Against all odds, you won. If there is a way to make your victory a utopia instead of a dystopia – I don’t know what it is.
I have to hope that you do.
I hope that, when you voted for Donald Trump, you voted in spite of the hateful things that he and his running mate Pence have said about Muslims, immigrants, refugees, people of color (particularly Latinx and Black people), disabled people, LGBTQ people, women, and other minorities. I hope you cast your vote because you believed there was a Trump-led future that included hope for everyone, even the people Donald Trump was speaking against.
What frightens me is not Donald Trump being president, specifically, but that his litany of hate has been effectively endorsed by 47.5% of America.
I’m afraid because two days after Donald Trump’s nomination, there have been related sexual assaults in the subway. I’m afraid because a Muslim student was assaulted by two Trump supporters in Louisiana. I’m afraid because the KKK is openly recruiting in Birmingham, Alabama. I’m afraid because trans suicide hotlines have been so overwhelmed with calls that many have gone unanswered. And I’m afraid because Mike Pence wants to nullify my marriage.
If you cast your vote for Trump, but you didn’t mean to cast a vote for hate – then now is the time to act. There are Trump supporters who cast deliberate votes for hate, and there are millions of people who are just as afraid as I am.
There’s a post going around (by Caitlin Rosberg) that begins:
- If you wear a hijab, I’ll sit with you on the train.
- If you’re trans, I’ll go to the bathroom with you.
- If you’re a person of color, I’ll stand with you if the cops stop you.
- If you’re a person with disabilities, I’ll hand you my megaphone.
- If you’re an immigrant, I’ll help find you resources.
- If you’re a survivor, I’ll believe you.
- If you’re a refugee, I’ll make sure you’re welcome.
- If you’re a veteran, I’ll take up your fight.
- If you’re LGBTQ, I won’t let anyone tell you you’re broken.
- If you’re a woman, I’ll make sure you get home okay.
You can do those things, too. It will make a world of difference if you do.
If you voted in hopes of a future for everyone, then fight for that future. Fight against harassment, and brutality, and sexual assault, and poverty, and cruelty. Defy the voices that tell you to hate people who are not like you.
There are lives at stake and you have the power to save them. Use it.