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Caucus Election Watch Turns from Hope to Despair

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Local LGBTs and supporters mourn Clinton’s loss to Trump.
By Brandon Wolf

Guests starting arriving at 6 p.m. on Tuesday evening, November 8, 2016, at Guava Lamp, near Waugh Drive and Memorial. It seemed an amusing irony that community nemesis Ted Cruz lived in the apartment building shadowing the club.

It was supposed to be a quick event, with Hillary Clinton becoming the first woman president of the United States, early in the evening. But the voting results left the community in mourning.

The first results coming in at 6 p.m. were all expected—either for Trump or Clinton. At 7 p.m., there was initial jubilation when the Texas early votes were reported, showing Clinton in the lead. The thought of Texas going blue delighted the crowd.

Florida, however, was already showing a tight race, seesawing back and forth. Other states began reporting in, as expected, for either Clinton or Trump. But the battleground states were showing a strong tendency of Trump in the lead.

Virginia was finally called for Clinton, lowering the tension level. But Michigan and Florida were changing back and forth between the candidates. Still, the battleground states had only small percentages of votes reported, and it seemed to give Clinton the opportunity to take a permanent lead.

By 9 p.m., the apprehension was palpable. Guests looking at their cell phones were receiving emails from friends not at the election watch, and one graphic with the words “I’m Terrified!” was starting to go viral.

Around 9:15 p.m., a drag entertainer arrived and headed into the dressing room. Meant to be a surprise when the election was called for Clinton, she stayed hidden. But after 10 p.m., when the race showed no sign of a winner, she exited to the small patio outside to smoke. At 10:30 p.m., it seemed a foreboding omen when she joined friends at a table inside the bar.

News commentators were buzzing with “This defies all the polls.” And a Clinton “path to victory” was being defined as more and more slim. Friends began to bid each other goodnight and head home.

The final election numbers were reported in the early morning hours. For those who woke up to the news of a Trump victory, the mourning in Montrose had only just begun.

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Brandon Wolf

Brandon Wolf is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.
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