I put on my pantsuit and voted today. I voted in honor of my grandfather, who after being ordained as a minister in the ’30s, went around the world, not to tell people what to believe, but to learn what they believed. I voted in honor of my grandmother, whose uncle didn’t want to send her to college, but her father left a requirement in his will that she go. She wanted to be an engineer, but was barred from that course of study by the University, so she chose math. She went on to be a teacher and an administrator, and helped a lot of other girls and boys to follow their love of math and science. I voted in honor of my mother, who got her Ph.D. while raising two young children and always taught us to think critically and not get pushed around. I voted in honor of my father, who supported my mother’s learning and professional career, never allowing anyone to mistake her for his secretary, proud that she was his business partner. He always made my sisters and I feel that we could do and be anything. If we had wanted to be president, he would have backed us 100%. I voted for my husband, who is a first-generation immigrant (also voting for Hillary). I voted for my children of mixed race. For my daughter who seemed uninterested in the race until she pushed back civilly against a school friend’s false Trump talking points. For my son who loves to have long hair, and doesn’t mind being mistaken for a girl because girls are awesome, too. I voted for myself, for love, for the world, for all of you.
This is the first time I’ve ever voted early, but I just waited in line for 1 1/2 hours and then I voted with a positive and hopeful heart.
I voted for her. I voted for myself. I voted for all of you. I voted for all of US, because I really believe we’re stronger together. I voted for ALL of us, even those who don’t appear to have either the mental and/or emotional capacity to educate themselves with facts rather than bombastic rhetoric. I voted for those members of my family with whom I’ve often disagreed politically, but who have truly shocked me this election season with their seemingly blind support of candidates spewing hateful and dangerous rhetoric. As a heterosexual, cisgender ally, I voted for my homosexual and transgender family and friends who just want to safely live their authentic lives. As a person fortunate to have been born American, I voted for those fleeing horrifying circumstances in their homelands to try and find a better way for themselves and their loved ones somewhere else. As a privileged white person with all my faculties, I voted for the rights of anyone who doesn’t have the same opportunities and/or doesn’t look, sound, or act like me. As a non-Christian, I voted for those who want to peacefully worship (or not) however they choose and without imposing their beliefs into legislation that affects those who don’t worship the same way. As a woman who has never been sexually assaulted but has had my share of creepy encounters with men who somehow think they have a right to girls’ and women’s bodies, I voted for little girls and women everywhere who deserve to live and grow up in a world where any semblance of misogyny is simply not accepted.
This group helps me block the noise and gives me hope that I’d almost lost among all of it. This group helps me remember that I’m not just voting against one of the least qualified presidential candidates I can imagine, but also voting FOR one of the most qualified presidential candidates we’ve ever seen. This group rocks the house, and I believe SHE is going to rock the White House! Thank you all so much for sharing your stories (sometimes deeply personal and private ones), for spreading the love, and for letting me join you. Y’all have changed everything for me over the past couple of days and I am so very grateful.
Because my Portuguese grandmother lived in Florida during the time of Jim Crow laws was asked time and again to leave a restaurant or bathroom because of her dark sun loving skin.
Because my son, despite my husband’s fair complexion and blue eyes, was born with that gorgeous skin and that tight curly black hair, and has been asked by adults repeatedly why is his skin so dark when his sisters are so much fairer, even though their faces are so similar.
Because we have to stop seeing each other as a color when we are all the same and I don’t want my children to live in a time and place where they are compartmentalized into a box for someone’s ideological comfort.
Because I have two beautiful, strong daughters that will set this world on fire and do not need anyone’s permission to do so.
Because I am a blue-haired, 43 year old, adored wife of a lifelong Republican who would rather sit out this election (still working on him to jump teams) than not support me.
Because I was a child of teen parents who couldn’t support a family and relied on food stamps, welfare and free lunch while living in rooms above a woman’s residence where our bathroom was outside the front door and now I am blessed to be comfortable top 1%, never ever forgetting how life’s circumstances often have nothing to do with the worthiness of someone or their drive, passion or intelligence and that EVERYONE deserves their chance.
Because I am hopeful that although 90% of our friends are supporting Trump (tax reasons I would expect) that they see that in their hearts they really back another candidate.
Because I am choosing hope and love above all the hate, judgement and divisiveness.
Because I think she can do this (and I am fighting paralyzingly fear posting this for fear of jinxing her.)
I am with you.
I. Am. With. Her.
I thought you all might like to see the face of one of the foremothers of our Pantsuit Nation. This is a photo of my great-grandmother, May Preston Goldsmith (nee Jenkins). On the back is written “President, Women’s Suffrage League, 1914.”
May died in 1971, a few months before I was born, and her name is my middle name. I grew up on stories of her being a suffragist and insistent upon women’s rights in many ways, including running her husband’s news and magazine distributorship for years after he died. She was a cigar-smoking bloomer-wearing knitter, quilter, embroiderer, reader, and so much more, and I wish I had known her.
This photo was taken the day of the Michigan primary. My partner was in downtown Detroit, leaving Avalon Bakery when he saw two black SUVs quickly pull up to either end of the street and block it. Being former military, he put two and two together fast. Primary day + a security situation = The Candidate. He immediately turned around and beelined back into the bakery, about a minute before Secret Service agents blocked the door. He was one of maybe 5 people inside. A few minutes later, HROD arrives.
At this point, we were a house divided. I had been a staunch Clinton supporter since Day 1. He was a Bernie guy. We’d had more than one heated argument about our differing support.
Hillary came into the bakery and spent about ten unhurried minutes with each of the people inside. Just listening to them. Asking questions that showed she was paying close attention. Todd was on his way to a job interview (he’s a small UAV pilot). He and Hillary talked about FAA rules and regulations. She wanted to know what she could do to help make those rules clearer and more reasonable for the industry. She wished him good luck on his job interview and he wished her good luck with hers.
When he left, he called me, struggling with tears. She was so attentive, so genuine, he was moved. Said he couldn’t stop thinking about our daughters and the impact her presidency would have on their lives. On their sense of what was possible.
Todd met Bill Clinton once, as a private in the Army. He’s also met Bernie Sanders. (Todd lived in Vermont for many years before coming home to Detroit.) He spoke about how striking the differences between them were.
With Hillary, he said, he felt seen. Heard.
I’ve never been so jealous in my life! But that day was a turning point for him. Since then he has been a loud and proud HRC supporter. We’re no longer a house divided. We’re with her!
I’m with her simply because I grew up a chubby little girl. I remember having things said about me, to me, yelled at me, an ice ball thrown at my face. Things said very similar to what you have heard come straight out of Trump. I never remember saying a thing in response. I hoped that no one heard it, that my teachers, parents and friends wouldn’t know. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, I felt I had to be smarter, funnier and kinder so that others wouldn’t look at me and instantly hate me. The worst part is that I believed it, that I was a fat disgusting pig. When you are a kid you are taught to believe others and to always tell the truth, what they said my mind summed to be true. As an adult I’ve been blessed with a daughter that I love more than anything in the world. She deserves better than him, a man that is openly & publicly cruel, misogynist, racist and ignorant. Young men deserve an example that is so much more than him, a grown man that resorts to name calling and ridicule. I’m with her because I asked my daughter tonight if she wanted to be the president and maybe one day she will be.
I am with her because I believe my granddaughter is the face of our future. In this beautiful child’s DNA is the story of slave owner and slave, conqueror and native, republican and democrat, Yankee and southerner, believer and atheist. Yet, somehow, all the hate, fear, division and greed of this history has been swept into the past by understanding, forgiveness, and bravery; she is the perfect result of openness, moving forward and coming together. We have a choice before us- to go backward, divide ourselves and deny the truth she embodies, or embrace the beauty, power and promise of unity that she, and so many in our unique, wonderfully diverse country, hold before us.
I am a 57 year-old woman who always thought I was born 10 years too late. I graduated HS in 1977. I missed Woodstock. I was never once hosed off the White House lawn. It was during President Obama’s second election that I decided it wasn’t too late to get involved. Tomorrow I will be a Staging Director for my 3rd Democratic campaign: President Obama, VA Governor Terry McAullife, and now for our future – President Hillary Clinton.
My first marriage was an abusive one, both emotionally and physically. I only had the courage to leave after the man I married held a loaded gun to my head and asked my 3 year-old daughter if she wanted to see mommy’s brains splattered on the wall. I packed 2 suit cases full of clothes, took my 2 children, my car and never looked back. There are a lot of people I need to thank for helping me through that period of my life.
I was a single mother for 6 years after which I married the most wonderful man in the world. We have one son together. He loves my 2 older children as his own – and they love him back. He had three older children from his first marriage that I welcomed whole-heatedly. Three years ago, I took George to the ER where he was diagnosed in end-stage heart failure. He was miss-diagnosed as having chronic bronchitis. The truth was, he was drowning because his heart wasn’t strong enough to move fluid through his body. Our next challenge will be the LVAD and a heart transplant. We are blessed that I work for a company that provides amazing health insurance. I went from wife to care-giver in one frightening night.
Geo’s youngest son Mark (my step-son) came to live with us when he was 12. Mark wasn’t as lucky as his father. At 36, Mark went to the ER with chest pains. The doctors told him that he was going to eventually need heart surgery – but because he had no insurance, they could not schedule what was not immediately necessary. Mark went home. The next time Mark had chest pains, he didn’t make it. He was 37. Three months after my husband’s diagnosis, his son died. Mark died because he did not have health insurance. Geo and I were not aware of the situation until after his death. Every time I hear people complain about the ACA and I could just scream. ACA would have saved our son’s life.
So now, I fight. I fight for health care. I fight against domestic violence. I fight for the woman who stands for what I believe in – and against the man who believes that grabbing a woman by the p*ssy is okay because, you know, he’s a star…
Volunteering has given me amazing opportunities other than distracting me from total insanity. I drove in Joe Biden’s motorcade. I met and had a conversation with our amazing first lady, Michelle Obama. I’ve spent time with our future Vice President, Tim Kaine and countless other VA politicians.
My advice? Get involved. Make a difference. Change the world. And by all means VOTE!
I’m a Republican, and have never voted for a Democrat. But I’m also a person with a heart, and a brain, and two daughters who should not have to grow up in a world that doesn’t believe in them. They are why I’m with her. I stand with love, peace, and pantsuits.
Pantsuit Nation is what Hillary Clinton’s supporters needed in these last difficult weeks. Finding solace in like-minded friends has proved to be a port in a storm for thousands. We thank the creators of the group and the members who let us share their words. Now, go vote!
Oh, and here’s your very own pantsuit if you need one.