As a woman and a minority, the election result feels like a personal violation. As a resident of the District of Columbia, it feels like a home invasion.
My husband and I watched the returns come in Tuesday night on our sofa, in the house in Northeast DC’s Trinidad that we bought last year. Between the two of us, we’ve lived in Anacostia, Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, Logan Circle, and Eckington. But this is the house and community where we intend to stay and build our future.
I’m proud to share a block with black, white, Latino, gay, and interracial families. DC, with its long-running economic and racial divisions, is far from perfect. But the diversity on my street reflects a city that I cherish and believe in. Now I realize it’s also a city of which I feel vehemently protective.
I don’t want Donald Trump to be my neighbor, and I don’t want him to be my neighbors’ neighbor. The 96 percent of District residents who did not vote for him ostensibly feel the same. On my way to work yesterday morning, the first people I ran into were a mother and her toddler daughter. I tried to smile but the thought of Trump in their city—in their home—made me break down crying instead. “I know,” said the mom.
To the rest of the world, we are Washington, the seat of federal power. But those of us who live here know DC is so much more complex than that. Our city is overwhelmingly progressive. Our LGBTQ and African-American populations are among the nation’s largest and proudest. We have a growing population of young people, a thriving creative class, and flourishing neighborhoods. All of this is to say: Trump may be our president-elect, but he does not represent who we are as a city.
There’s a question that gets thrown around a lot here: “When did you feel like a local?” I’m approaching a decade in DC, and I’ve never felt qualified to answer it. I do now. This is my home. It’s our home. Trump will live here, but it will never be his.