america, you beautiful so-and-so

from xkcd - click pic to go to site
My mom always worries when I get really angry or upset over a piece of news - she says that you can't fight every battle yourself, that she hates to see me upset, that she worries because it seems like I care about literally everything with my whole self and that seems exhausting.

Well, it is exhausting, but last night, the strength of how much I feel everything was directed entirely into joy and disbelief. My friends and I sat at a bar, discussing gender politics, you know, like you do, and filling out a map of the US with red and blue, and at some point, MSNBC threw a picture of Obama onto the screen with the word ELECTED underneath him.

"What is happening," I said, my hands flying to my face. "What is happening, what is happening."

My friend Y looked at me like I was going to be sick for a second, until she looked up at the screen herself. Then she, like a normal human, jumped up and started shrieking and hugging me and our other friends, and I just started sobbing. I cried, on and off, with giant, wracking, heaving sobs that left me breathless, that almost made me start to hyperventilate, until I finally fell asleep at 2:30AM after the acceptance speech.

And now, of course, all that crying and all that being-awake-from-5:30AM-to-2:30AM has left me in bed with an encroaching sinus infection and a generally swollen face (inside AND out! I'm so lucky).

But hey, there's four more years for Obamacare to get sorted. I guess my ridiculous face-mess has some time to get used to medical treatment.

HA. I could barely write that sentence without wanting to cry! SO YAY. OKAY. GOOD.

Oh, and Russian readers: some guy interviewed me and my friends in Times Square last night, and claimed to be from TV One in Russia, though we may have misheard him. So if you see any news blurbs about the US election over there, keep an eye out for me - I'm the girl who gives a few decent answers and then starts crying, and I'm wearing a blue hat. It would be cool to be on Russian TV.

And guys - I know that things aren't perfect; I know that Obama has done some things that I don't agree with; I know that the only way for America to keep moving forward is to keep being challenged and questioned by its constituents, and I believe that who you vote for should be a thoughtful, complicated, and difficult choice, and I respect anyone who takes the time to think about who and what they're supporting, even if I can't understand their reasoning whatsoever - I'm just taking a moment here to celebrate.

Anyway, here is a pictorial list of things I am happy about from last night, in no particular order after Obama:

OBAMA, you cheeky devil
Tammy Duckworth, Representative, IL
Half-Thai, combat veteran, amputee
Tammy Baldwin, Senator, WI
First open lesbian senator
Mazie Hirono, Senator, HI
First Asian-American female senator

Marriage equality passed by ballot initiative in Maine
...and in Maryland as well
Mary Gonzalez, State Representative, TX
First openly pansexual elected official
Minnesota defeated a proposed marriage equality ban
While it's still a little early to call definitively, it looks like Washington state
approved a law passed earlier this year to allow same-sex marriages
Maryland passed a version of the DREAM Act by ballot initiative,
allowing undocumented immigrants to get in-state tuition at public colleges
New Hampshire elected a female governor and entirely female
congressional delegation - the first time this has ever happened 
Puerto Rico stands poised to become the 51st state of the union,
pending congressional approval (Obama is backing PR's decision)
And finally, I will just leave you with this.

**PS: If I've missed any historic firsts that I should include here 
(and yes, I'm aware of Colorado and Washington's new marijuana stati), 
please let me know in the comments or by email!

11/8/12: ETA: 

Tulsi Gabbard, Representative, HI
First Hindu person to be elected to congress