November 17, 2016 at 5:54 pm EST | by Michael Radkowsky
Post-election, choose resolve over defeat
religious conservatives, Donald Trump, gay news, Washington Blade

Donald Trump (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

I’m a gay man and like everyone I know, I am sick to my stomach, literally, over the election results. I am really, really scared. Actually, terrified.
I wonder what will happen to us gay people. Rollback of marriage equality? Legal, government-endorsed discrimination?
I wonder what will happen to our country with its diverse citizenry. So much hatred and bigotry have come from the Republican campaign.
And I wonder what will happen to our world, which is so fragile. Not only the idea of peace and collaboration among nations but also the existential threats of nuclear annihilation and global warming.
The rug has been pulled out from everything and the people coming into power say they don’t give a damn about so much that we hold dear. I’ve never been so hopeless about everything.
I know you deal with helping people get a grip and see things with perspective. Do you have any advice?

Michael replies:

Yes, we are facing awful threats. It makes sense to be scared.

What can you or any of us do? Refuse to be powerless victims. Fight for what we believe in and what we hold to be important, even if doing so has grave costs to us. Stand up for what is right, no matter the risk.

Throughout our lives, we’ve all heard the importance of doing these things. They sure seemed a lot more abstract than they do now.

I tell my clients that there are no guarantees, that we don’t always get what we want and that the best we can do is to do our best, although we don’t know what the outcome will be.

Those words are a lot easier to accept when what’s at stake is a disappointed spouse or our own dissatisfaction with how a relationship or job is progressing.

But what is at stake now is so much bigger. Not having things turn out as we would hope is beyond terrifying when it comes to having a government that doesn’t respect all citizens and does not recognize the need for cooperation among all humanity. When our survival, in so many senses of the word, is at stake.

My advice?

Take courage in knowing that you are not alone, not by a long shot. And seek out ways that you can join with others in the struggle to create a just country and a safe world. We don’t know how our work will turn out, but we can pour our hearts and souls into the effort and hope we will prevail.

Michael Radkowsky, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist who works with gay couples and individuals in D.C. He can be found online at All identifying information has been changed for reasons of confidentiality. Have a question? Send it to

1 Comment
  • Marriage equality: This isn’t going anywhere. Even after we get a new conservative supreme court justice, the court makeup will still be the same as what ruled on Obergefell. Also, the court is loathe to overturn recent decisions. The only real avenue of attack there is in congress, but popular opinion is on our side (and only increasing as time goes on), so that’s also really unlikely.

    Discrimination: We’re seeing a recent spike but the thing to remember is that the world didn’t actually change overnight. Our understanding of the country we live in might have been flawed, but it’s still the same one that produced huge backlash for HB2 and excoriated Pence for the crap he was pulling.

    The thing to really watch out for here is the little, devious attacks (see: the measures in place to limit and restrict abortions in various states). There’s definitely gonna be a lot of this going on; need to stay on top of the people who are gonna try to push through attacks like that and call it out when it happens.

    We take hits and the hits are gonna be bigger now that the alt-right think they can get away with it for a while. Fortunately, sanity always (mostly) returns.

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