I have never been more proud to be an American that the moment it was announced that our next President was going to be Joseph R. Biden and our next Vice President was going to be Kamala Devi Harris. After 4 years of turmoil, racial tensions, erosion of Queer and Women’s rights, and a deadly pandemic, America needs leaders that will unite not divide. I was 19 and a sophomore at NYU when Donald Trump was elected and I remember that morning so clearly: it was cloudy, raining, protestors had gathered in Washington Square Park crying out their pain. It was as if everyone had lost and everyone was lost. I had no clue what was in store for us but I knew that I could not get complacent. The biggest way to change the situation, was to use my voice in the next election, sending a clear message that we the people deserve better. So here we are 4 years later, I am 23, graduated from NYU, working my dream job, and an out-proud gaysi with Kamala Harris as our first South Asian/Black Female Vice President. Being South Indian as well, I am so proud to be able to say that I can see myself in the White House not just because of Kamala Harris but also because it is the people’s choice that we are seeing in the White House. Over 80 million cannot be wrong.
I genuinely felt scared that queer rights were going to be challenged or marriage equality could be lost with another Trump Presidency due to their policies and forceful domination of the U.S. Supreme Court. I lived in fear that all of the progress we had made thus far was all going to be lost, I was scared all the progress I had made was going to be lost. In the past 4 years, I have been able to accept myself and be proud about my sexuality all because of the safety I was feeling however I was beginning to feel less and less safe as I saw the political events unfold around me. I became more and more fearful that Trump was bringing out everyone’s inner hatred and lack of acceptance leading to a country that would be even more cruel to queerness. I was once again afraid for myself and for the queer community, but I am not anymore.
I have learned that when faced with homophobia, the best solution is to be as gay as possible and show that I am not going to let anyone steal my rainbow glow. I learned that being fearful would only give in to this hatred and I had to use my voice to effect change. I voted for a presidency where I knew everyone could be seen, heard, felt and loved. I wanted to see a woman of color enter the White House and re-instate that it is the People’s House. Kamala Harris rightly put it that she may the first woman to do so but she will not be the last because we now know that when we the people raise their voices, amazing things can happen. Kamala Aunty is the aunty we all want in our lives, the progressive aunty who accepts you for you and can help change stagnant beliefs of your parents. I have never met her, but I feel like I already know her. I am ready to see the change she brings to America. I am ready for the reassurance that Queer Rights and Women’s rights will be protected. I am ready for a safer country.
I am ready for you Madam Vice President.