I love when the light comes on, the mind opens, the blindfold comes off.

I love when the light comes on, the mind opens, the blindfold comes off.

By Naomi Daniels

Black, trans, and I endorse #WalkAway. I voted for Bernie in the primary and Hillary gladly in 2016 general. However, five months before the election the Pulse shooting happened. It planted the first seed of doubt in me. Democrats campaigned for gun bans despite those very firearms defending LGBT lives. Yet still, I pressed on with my anti-Trump hatred. I also developed a hatred for white people as is common among young black Democrats online. The day the election results came in and I read think piece after think piece analyzing the elections aftermath and how white voters who voted for Trump did so for very valid reasons, I had come to realize how much hate and division my words had sowed.

I decided to change course, trying to communicate with Trump voters, to understand why they voted for him. I realized I didn’t know a single Trump voter because I purged conservatives in my social group in this very divisive time. I realized I was part of the problem. That I had directly led to the division and hate in America.

Yet my fellow Democrats didn’t correct course. They instead double downed. They campaigned for gun bans while also calling the President a fascist which is as illogical as it gets. And while all this happened, I managed to find God again. Yes, I am trans but I can be religious and believe in God too. I found a change in my morals. I found abortion to be the evil it is. I noticed that my views were starting to go against my fellow liberals’ and socialists’ views more and more. I disagreed that we should use violence unprovoked on white supremacists as that lowered us to them. I was called a fascist enabler and a “hateful Christian” by people I truly loved and respected. I thought it silly and asinine that the likes of Ben Shapiro should be barred from colleges and universities for talks. Surely if we had the better ideas we would have the capability to defend them.

Pushback after pashback I was labeled a traitor. But I was still loyal. “I can be a pro-life Democrat.” “I can be a pro-gun Democrat.” “I can advocate for free speech while a Democrat. I just need to find others like me.”

And then Parkland happened. Child killer. Blood on your hands. Assault weapon ban. Semi automatic weapon ban proposals. Writing about repealing the second amendment in the NYT while also screaming about white supremacists and the KKK making a revival when historically, guns were the first line of defense keeping my people from being lynched during KKK raids. Meanwhile, the economy was going great. Democrats refused to clap at the fact the black unemployment was at an all-time recorded low at the State of the Union. My fellow trans folk had become fiercely socialist and increasingly radical and saying things like,”gender is biological” (which we believe it to be) while also saying,”gender is a social construct” which completely negates the existence of trans people while conflating there are infinite genders (there aren’t) and that being trans isn’t a medical condition (it is).

Enough was enough.

I pulled the plug and decided to #WalkAway this year and voted Republican for the first time in my life during the primary and later, the runoff. I admit I still have my misgivings. Trump’s erratic behavior is still a turn off but you can’t deny the results. The Texas Republican Party refuses to acknowledge I exist as a trans person and think I’m a public enemy potential rapist but that doesn’t stop me for voting for my deeply held values which beat out my identity any day. And Republicans still have a black problem of meaninglessly blaming literally every ill the black community has on the Democratic Party when it’s clearly bipartisan but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the Republican Party has much to offer black people.

I’ve managed to #WalkAway. Thank you for reading my story.

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