So I’m going to be honest here: I am completely bummed about the election outcome. Many things for me are on the line now as a woman, a proud member of the LGBTQ community and a connected and concerned citizen of the United States — as they are for many others in our country.
As a group fitness instructor, I see almost 300 people a day. Mostly women, some men. It is my job to make sure that even in times of adversity that I keep my squad feeling positive. I have to keep them with their chins up, their chests high and proud and their attitudes in check. This past week, especially the day after the election, my job had never been harder. I was personally struggling to find the positive outcomes of the election. So I dove deeper.
To me, this election was about more than just one person becoming our commander-in-chief. It was about the movements formed along the way. It was about watching this country start to pay attention. It was about watching tribes of people unite for the greater good of themselves. Finally, people were coming together, and realizing that we can together, motivate for change.
My candidate didn’t win, but there were other notable victories for women. The number of women of color in the U.S. Senate went from one to four. Illinois elected the second-ever female Asian-American senator Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq veteran who lost her legs when her helicopter was shot down. Catherine Cortez-Masto is the first Hispanic female U.S. Senator. Kamala Harris became the second African-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate. They join Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, who was the first Asian-American female senator.
Let’s also take a look at Kellyanne Conway. She is the first woman to run a GOP presidential campaign. She took over Trump’s campaign at the 11th hour and helped bring him to victory. Even if you didn’t vote for Trump or agree with Conway’s positions, you have to admire that she represents a “first” for women, too.
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So I leave you with this. How can we keep our female moment moving in this new administration with our own chins up? I urge you to get involved in the causes that you’re passionate about. Work within your local community, and look for organizations that support women. From there, you will be able to gather your thoughts and find groups that will surround you with female energy. Listen to our children, help them process their feelings and encourage them that sometimes people make mistakes, and sometimes people say the wrong thing. I really think that now is the time that we all have to have faith, hope, and forgiveness. As Hillary said in her concession speech, let’s give him a chance.
I want all of us to rise up in the weeks and months ahead. Raise your voices, get involved and stay positive. The only way to move forward is together, with our chins up!