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Why I Am Sad. Angry. Afraid.

Because my friend’s daughter just asked, “Will boys and men think it’s okay now to assault me?”

Because one of my husband’s friends was assaulted yesterday by a man on the streets of Raleigh, who did exactly what our President Elect said he can do with impunity.

Because my gay friend wept this week, wondering if she and those she loves will be safe.

Because my colleague just said, “I’m getting myself ready to be referred to as one of ‘The Blacks’ for four years.”nerve-pitmad-straight

Because her friend in Asheville was just followed by a man at the Wal-Mart demanding to know who she voted for, and when she said, “Not Trump,” he followed her to her car.

Because I am finally understanding with my own fears a small part of the fear and trepidation that one of my black friends describes as daily life for her and her son profiled by the police. Now I get a police state in a whole new way.

Because of my former students who are black and brown and Asian and gay and Muslim and beautiful; because of all the girls and women and boys and men I know who are survivors of sexual assault. Because of two students who I just learned committed suicide because they were not welcome in this world.

Because I just finished a YA novel about a girl afraid to come out, whose friend gets assaulted at a party and then slut shamed by the school community, and who wonders if as a teen journalist she should go the TMZ or NYT route.

Because I’m working on a new novel about extreme narcissism and how its reach is wide and lethal.

Because. Because. Because.