Yesterday morning I was standing in my yard taking a break from work. I was in no mood to work. Mrs. Jackson, who has been known to support Republican Party candidates, was walking her dog. As she approached, I noticed she was crying. I asked if she was okay. She mumbled something about the election and that man as she walked by. About an hour later, Cindi called to let me know she had returned from Santa Fe. She had been crying all morning. Last night at dinner with Tom, Sheila and their campaign worker, I found out my campaign worker had been crying all day in her room. She had her door closed most of the day so I respected her privacy by leaving her alone. I didn’t know she was crying.
As a gay man of a certain age, I been fighting and supporting causes most of my adult life. I’ve celebrated gay pride in Dallas, Denver, San Francisco and New York. In the 1980s, I protested with ACT UP in Dallas to direct attention to the AIDS crisis. I saw the passage of Amendment 2 (a voter-approved ballot initiative that banned laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation) in Colorado after moving to Denver. I attended protest rallies and fundraisers supporting litigation to fight Amendment 2. I joined the fight for same-sex marriage.
I’m tired of fighting. There have been so many battles for AIDS research and funding, along with trying to secure civil rights. I’m tired of crying. I cried too much in eighties when most of my friends died from AIDS. I need to turn my disappointment with the presidential election results into motivation. If I give up, they win. At this point, I don’t know what to do but I’ll figure it out.
It’s okay to cry for a few days, perhaps even a week or two. But then it’s time to dry your tears. It’s time to figure out what you’re going to do.