I'm biracial and I spent most of my adolescence growing up in Texas. All I wanted was to not stick out more than I already did by simply existing.
Parroting the values of the people around me was kind of a survival mechanism. I internalized a lot of racism, sexism, and classism as a result.
It was a combination of stumbling around the internet and religiously watching The Daily Show that set me up to be ok calling myself a Democrat in the South. It's not an exaggeration to say Jon Stewart was the only liberal voice I heard. There were maybe two students in my high school I could name that were Democrats, everyone else was deeply Republican.
No matter who wins the presidency, it feels like the American public has already lost. People with hate in their hearts saw and heard their hatred validated by national press, and by a presidential candidate. The fight women fight everyday for our basic dignity and civil rights feels like it got harder.
In a million small ways we learn our opinions aren't valid. That declaring yourself a feminist is fast way to open yourself up to harassment, bullying, and risk your personal safety.
Being supportive to other women can feel unnatural, because we've been socialized to see each other as competition instead of collaborators.
Cable news and major news outlets are so predictably boring when they talk about Hillary. They question her appearance, her voice, whether she she's nice or not… totally inconsequential and boring things.
Before I signed up for mail-in ballots, I only voted when high profile seats like mayor, governor, president were up for grabs. But now I vote in every single one because it's so convenient.
The presidency is important, but I now believe so strongly that voting local is how we'll get true change.