I, like many other Americans, am reflecting on the Presidential inauguration of 2008. I clearly remember it being a joyous occasion; everyone in my high school was absolutely ecstatic about the positive and progressive change President Barack Obama was about to bring.

This time around sure is different.

No. Not different. Saddening. Frustrating. Infuriating.

Scary. Very, very scary.

At this moment, while I’m sitting on the F train heading to work this early morning, my mind goes back to election night. Once President-elect Trump was starting to become a reality, I was in the process of losing it. Calls were made to my family while I was hysterically bawling, hugs were given to my good friend who was with me the entire night, and certain thoughts kept running through my head.

What will my personal health care look like as someone living HIV?

Will my friends who don’t have their US citizenship be forced to leave this country?

What will the state of The United States be like four years from now?

These questions along with many others have been with me for the past two months consistently. However, I was comfortable in ignoring them for quite some time. From November 8th until today, I treated the story of President-elect Trump as a prologue. However, today is different.

Chapter One begins today. Chapter One of the Trump presidency.

Today is when we should all thank President Obama for what he has done for the American people. Yet today is also when we should truly focus on why we do the work that we do. Today is when we buckle down and continue to fight the way we know how. As for myself, I fight by being there for those living with HIV. However, no matter how you choose to fight, I truly hope you join me in fighting for compassion, empathy, and most importantly, love.