The days following the 2016 Presidential election in November were met with fear, protests and an overwhelming feeling of distress for people living in America.
Since Donald Trump’s president-elect victory many minorities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) groups, and concerned citizens have spoken about what the future of America could look like led by Donald Trump.
Since Trump’s victory, numerous reports of hate-crimes and violence have been circulating, and though there is no proven evidence of a direct correlation between Trump being elected president and an increased coverage of violence, some people can’t help but think that the election has sparked a mass release of hatred.
“I see the stories every day. There’s a new story or video like every day on minorities being discriminated against,” says student Jaime Rodriguez. “I see stuff on Facebook and Twitter all the time… I definitely think that Trump winning made people feel like they could do or say anything.”
Rodriguez has many family members who are immigrants and together they fear for the lives they have established here in California. Jaime himself recalls times where he was being discriminated against.
Recently the FBI released statistics on 2015 hate crimes. This included a raise in incidents against blacks or African-Americans at 1,745 recorded events. Statistics that also raised in number of incidents were Anti-Jewish at 664 and Anti-Islamic at 257 recorded occurrences.
The overall hate crime incidents which took place in 2015 that were regarding sexual orientation including but not limited to anti-gay and anti-lesbian was 1,053.
Anna Peterson, an alias, was hit with a strong mix of emotions when she found out Donald Trump would be the next president of the United States.
“I’m not even going to lie, I cried. I cried because I felt like at one point in my life I was so afraid to come out as a lesbian, and I thought I had moved on from that,” says Peterson. “For the first time in a long time I’m scared again and I don’t know how to really deal with it.”
One fear Anna has for America under a Trump presidency is the possible influence of vice-president elect Mike Pence. Pence has publicly supported conversion therapy. He has also expressed that he does not support marriage equality, according to Politifact.
Conversion therapy is known as is a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, according to The Human Rights Campaign.
California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, and Vermont have already banned the use of conversion therapy; but one of the biggest fears that Anna and her peers have is the possibility of conversion therapy gaining popularity and resulting in an even greater fear for people to disclose their sexual orientation.
Donald Trump’s presidency has not begun, but the protests and violence that have followed the election are real. The fears and anxieties that people are experiencing are real. There will be change in America under a Trump presidency, but change is inevitable. As Americans we can only hope for the best for our country and to give our new leader a chance to provide justice and equality for all.