After reading all the news - all the reports and all the analyses - I feel like I should be a Trump supporter.
I don't have a college degree.
I was a single mother at 20 - and a divorced mother of two by my early 30s.
I'm in the low-to-middle class (depending on the year).
And - to top it all off - I have blonde hair and blue eyes.
But I couldn't be more appalled at this election's outcome.
I am also a friend and family-member of mixed-race, gay, lesbian, transgender, immigrant, mentally and physically disabled/challenged, non-educated, religiously fervent and other wonderful people who are not exactly like me.
Despite all that, I believe in the undeniable right of all people to be treated equally and with kindness, respect, compassion, understanding and the benefit of the doubt (even the people I don't agree with).
I drove across at least three states to go to my daughter's wedding to another woman.
I now proudly call that same daughter my son.
My greatest fears in the wake of this election are that we may no longer (for real) be listening to one another - searching for common ground - or even seeking basic understanding of that which we don't already know.
I'm afraid that hate and fear are stomping out love and reason.
I may be scared about the future of my healthcare (I'm self-employed and the Affordable Care Act has been my best, most affordable and ONLY option), my right to control my own body, my son's safety in a bathroom, my daughter's chance at a fair shake in a man's business world, and the life and liberty of Americans not fortunate to be considered "normal" or lucky enough to have been born here - but I am stalwart in my faith that good will prevail, that right will out, that most people set out each day to make the world a better place and that we as a people learn from our mistakes.
As a textbook, fundamental Christian for most of my life I was heartsick over the voice of Evangelicals in this election cycle. I did not find the love, forgiveness, understanding, grace and compassion that I was raised on.
I do, however, have to give a shoutout to the predominant religion of my state - the LDS church - they held fast to their convictions and did not bend them to accept a man whose public behavior (all we had by which to judge him) exhibited hateful, violent, racist, bigoted, deceitful, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic and otherwise deplorable (yep, I said it!) attitudes, actions and values.
Huzzah! to an organization that stands by its fundamental beliefs.
In the quest of my life I have thirsted after knowledge that would bring hope and relieve suffering and show me a path of giving, love and compassion.
I have not been a saint, but I have benefitted from the study of those who are.
And - after having spent my life as a gentile in the world of Latter Day Saints, I must give them their props for being willing to stand up and say NO - regardless of the consequences.
I may be living in a perpetual RED state - and I may have to buy my wine at the liquor store instead of the grocery aisle - but at least I know that some truths remain self-evident: Mormons are really hard to hornswoggle and people can stand on their own truth even if it's not popular.
I'm not happy with this whole election cycle - but obviously we have a problem.
Now is the time to give each other a break - let's look one another in the eye and be human.
Who cares who sits in the Oval Office if we don't have each other's backs?