I get a lot of hate for talking about herpes. Like, a lot. We’ve been over this before. In August, I wrote an essay on Medium about how much of that hate comes from fringe anti-feminist groups online, now better known as part of the Alt-Right. You can read that essay here. This election is remarkable for too many reasons to get into, but in my experience of 2016, seeing Donald Trump validate the strangers who torment me online hit home the most. Hillary Clinton’s speech in Reno about Trump’s indirect empowerment of hate groups marked the first time I’d seen a public figure recognize what had happened to me as a real issue. In my essay, I thanked her.
What happened was simultaneously predictable and shocking. The essay became intensely popular and widely shared. Leaders of the Alt-Right shared it too, for the lulz. And then I came home one day and found a small white envelope in my mailbox, and inside of that envelope was a letter from Hillary Clinton.
The letter wasn’t a form letter. It was personalized. Hillary Clinton heard me, reached out to me, and stood by me. I don’t know an eloquent way to explain the impact this letter has had on me. I don’t know how to explain what it meant to cast my vote early for her in this presidential election. I hope my eventual children will never be able to understand what a fundamental relief it is to see a woman in power, in the most powerful position in the United States, who understands our pain and resilience first hand.
I stand with Hillary Clinton because she is the type of person who reads Medium essays by a random twenty-four-year-old blogger and tracks down her address to mail her a letter. I stand with Hillary Clinton for her compassion, her generosity, her determination and her strength. I stand with Hillary Clinton because I trust her. I stand with Hillary Clinton because, goddamn it, I like her.
Please go vote. Even if you don’t vote for Hillary, she will be there for you when you need her most. She will fight for all of us as President of the United States, and tomorrow, we will be there for her.