“‘I called to see how you’re doing,” my mother said, shortly after the election. “I knew you’d be upset.”
I told her that I felt angry, shocked, fearful for my rights as a gay person.
“I felt so bad for Hillary when I watched her speech,” mom said of Hillary Clinton’s concession speech the day after the election.
And I felt super bad that my 94-year-old mother will likely never see a female president before she dies.
I flashed back to last summer when I was staying at our family house at the New Jersey shore and we watched the DNC convention every night together. I realize now it was a powerful bonding experience.
I was on the couch and mom was in her comfortable reading chair. We loved first lady Michelle Obama’s speech and agreed she should run for office. “It is time for a woman president,” mom said forcefully. I was proud of her declaration although I never considered my mother a feminist.
She was a 1950s-type homemaker who never held a paying job after she got married. She was a Catholic, who opposed abortion, although she called the church sexist and accepted me as gay, much more than my now-deceased father.
While I was growing up the rebellious middle child, we fought a lot. Then, 10 years ago, my mom helped me through the breakup of my 26-year partnership.
And we got closer. I loved the fact we were now united, rooting for Hillary.
Unlike me, my mother does not vote blue down the ballot line. She supported Sen. John McCain (a war hero) for president in 2008, then voted for President Barack Obama who “did a good job” in 2012.
We both agreed Democrat Clinton is smart and qualified to be president. We both thought Republican Donald Trump is unqualified and unhinged (see the tweets about election fraud earlier this week). We loved when Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Trump a con artist. Now, we are still stunned Trump won.
I nursed my wounds for a couple of weeks, gearing up to resist in whatever ways possible, getting my bus ticket to go to D.C. next month. I’m still upset but I’m also grateful the election renewed our mother-daughter connection.
Kate Walter is the author of “Looking for a Kiss: A Chronicle of Downtown Heartbreak and Healing.”