October 13, 2016

To My Ex-Boyfriend Who Is Voting For Trump

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David Cohen
David Cohen

Remember how much you loved me?


Just please take a brief second and remember the moment where you held me in your arms, told me nothing about me would ever scare you away, and held my cheeks between your hands so tenderly, so carefully, and told me you loved me. You told me how special I was, how much I meant to you, how you’d always be there.

You told me you loved me.

You let me open up, spill my guts, be that vulnerable side of myself that continually makes me uncomfortable and tell you all of my deepest, darkest, most personal secrets and tragedies.

You made me believe that you loved me. That you really, truly, wholeheartedly loved me.

And, more than that, you made me believe you wanted what was best for me.

Because when you love someone, you want them to be safe, you want them to be sure, you want them to be cared for and loved by even people they happen to come across while walking down the street.

And honestly? Thank you. Thank you for loving me that way.

Thank you for teaching me what it actually means to love someone.

But that brings me to today.

We’re not together anymore. I don’t have your number saved. You’ve been removed from my emergency contact sheet. Your name never comes up in conversation. We don’t even follow each other on social media.

We aren’t in each other’s lives, but still, at one point or another, you loved me.

Not just loved me like you love a scone fresh out of the oven at 8 AM or like you love the fact that Uber is everywhere now.

You pictured a future with me, you looked forward to seeing me at the end of every day, we bettered each other. I was your person and you were mine.

No matter where we are today, at one point or another, that love existed. And it fucking mattered.

So when I see that you’re voting for Donald Trump, it makes my stomach turn.

It makes my heart stop.
It makes my blood boil.
It makes my mind start to race.


Remember how much you loved me?

Remember when I sat there, on the couch, in pitch darkness, refusing to look up at you out of total shame and fear, and told you what happened to me when I was 17? Remember how I told you that I still couldn’t call it by what it was? That rape felt too definite, too scary? That I wasn’t ready to be a victim? And that I didn’t feel like I deserved the word “survivor” attached to me?

Remember how mad you would get when people would hit on me in front of you? And not take my “no” seriously? Remember how you felt like you needed to claim me in front of other men? Remember how intrusive their eyes felt? Remember how dangerous it was for me to walk back to that apartment by myself because of the lack of streetlights and the weird complex that was across the street?

Do you remember how much you loved me?


Do you?

Because when I see that you’re voting for Trump, voting for a man who clearly doesn’t care about women, or consent, or believing women in general…it feels like you’ve forgotten.

It feels like you have forgotten that moment on that couch where I said, “I think I was raped…” and those moment in bars where you could see I wasn’t safe, wasn’t cared about. It feels like you’re more influenced by grandstanding than by actual humanity. It feels like you want to close not only our borders, but your heart to connecting with people and finding our likeness. It feels like you’re too preoccupied with our differences to care anymore.

It feels like you’re stomping on me, on women, and on anyone who isn’t inherently privileged by being a cis-white male in this country.

It feels degrading.
It feels sickening.
It feels depressing.

It feels like you have no regard for what it means to be a good person.

And YES. Yes, I respect our ability to have a voice and a differentiating opinion in this nation. I respect the right to free speech. I respect it.


Remember how much you loved me?


Do you think that Trump has the same amount of respect for me?


Do you think that Trump would’ve just shrugged his shoulders at the boy who forced himself inside of me when I was 17 and incapacitated? Do you think he would’ve equated that same boy saying, “Yeah I fucked her, yeah she was puking, yeah she cracked her head open on the side of the toilet, so what?” as “locker room talk” when hearing about it? Do you think he would’ve respected me if I encountered him, rejected him and said no thanks?

Do you think he would have been another set of eyes you would have felt like you needed to protect me against?

I just can’t fathom how you, you, this person who I cherished and treasured and LOVED would have so little regard for humanity. For kindness. For consent. For goodness.

I really don’t.

So, to you ex-boyfriend:

I see that you’re voting for Trump. I respect your right to a differentiating opinion. I respect your right to your own vote.

But if you ever respected me, or your current girlfriend, or your little sister, or your mom, or women in general?

I would never have had to write this in the first place.

And before you say anything in retaliation!

Just think about how much you love us. And then think about what a man like Donald Trump means for that. For us.

Seriously. TC mark

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