Men and women screamed in front of Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. last Thursday night, “Pussy grabs back!” As the sea of people grew in size and veracity, some of the feelings of loneliness and anger inside me found their resting place at the bottom of my stomach.
Two days before, I had sat on the concrete floor of UMBC’s Main Street, trying to get my roommate to look me in the eyes after CNN had called Virginia for Trump. She articulated her disbelief to no one in particular and fixed her gaze on the New York Times presidential likelihood barometer on her computer that is steadily falling into Trump territory.
Many of us did not take this election seriously. We have never had reason for hope.
But who are we to believe in hope? The gun violence has conditioned the youth of this country to not cry anymore when bad things happen. We are the youth that finds humor in the small parts of our lives unaffected by politics. We were the ones who believed that Trump could never become president.
On Thursday night, I decided to end this dearth of hope. I drove with my roommate and her cousin to Rite Aid to buy poster boards, and then drove to the United State’s Capitol where I stood outside and screamed.
I walked to the hotel owned by the very devil that has put me in this position of hopelessness and I found people like myself. Together, with these people I screamed at the top of my lungs, I cried and I mourned. Someone, I do not know who, yelled at the crowds to take to the streets and among screams of “Which way?”, I was pushed to my knees by the uncertain sway of the throng.
Unbelievably beautiful and powerful women, grabbed my arms and pulled me to my feet. They cupped my face in their hands and asked me if I was okay, and then I remembered that these are the women I want to become.
There were war cries of “Not my president!” and sirens as we chanted our way down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. At that moment, I had hoped the president-elect was there to see that we were not going to giving up.
Foreign news crews and men in suits with amused looks on their faces took pictures of the fast moving crowd. Some people even jumped off of bar stools to join us, and others belted their disappointment at our choices.
At the end of the night, I pulled myself out of the crowd and sat with my roommate and her cousin on the curb outside of the FBI building.
I still felt like crying, I still felt like screaming, but my anger was no longer stagnant. I heard the chants in my head during the drive back to Baltimore; “Pussy grabs back! Black lives matter!” and for the first time in months I felt hope for my country.