To my conservative loved ones: why I wear a safety pin.
My safety pin isn't a protest against the president elect being chosen for office. I accept that he is my president, and while I find many things he's said alarming, I will also be open to positive changes if he makes them. I also take responsibility for holding him accountable for everything he does in office.
My safety pin is not political. I wear my safety pin to show that I am safe for people who are afraid.
I wear it to show that if you are trans and afraid to hit the bathroom, I will go with you, no questions asked. If you are being bullied, for any reason, I will stand up for you; I'm not the semi-badass I used to be but I will speak up, and I will object to anyone harassing or abusing you. This includes women who are breastfeeding, people of every complexion, trans and LGBTQ community, disabled people, elderly people, people wearing hijabs or sikh turbans or kippahs or dreadlocks or Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirts.
And to my conservative friends, it might seem counter intuitive right now, but it would be beautiful if you were to decide to wear one as well. And there are good reasons for it.
Most people who voted for Trump, as I understand it, did not vote for his hate, but in spite of it. So you could wear a Trump button AND a safety pin. It would mean you stand by your decision, but you didn't go along with the hateful rhetoric. It would probably also start some interesting conversations.
If the numbers I've read are accurate. most people in America believe in reproductive rights, in LGBTQ rights, are not racist, and don't want to see their friends and family or neighbors put on registries or deported or see women being treated disrespectfully. MOST people. So if you wear a safety pin, you can still be conservative and stand against people being singled out and made more vulnerable to hate crimes. To stand against hate could unite us all.
I don't wear my safety pin to oppose your politics. I wear it to show that I support fairness and kindness. I know many people who are conservative who support fairness and kindness, too. If you don't, I am still going to assume that you do. I make a practice of assumption of good intent.
My intent is not to challenge or degrade you, but to support others. That's why I'm wearing it.
I want everyone to be safe.