It’s interesting the title of this comic is “Brush It Off,” because that’s what a lot of the folks who voted for the winner in Tuesday’s Presidential election–and those who voted other ways–are telling those who are expressing disappointment or anger with the election’s results. “Get over it.” “Quit whining.” All this from people who supported a candidate who, when his poll numbers were dropping, cried foul, claiming the election was “rigged.” Who sued the Clark County Election Department for allegedly keeping polls open too late (they didn’t) on the last day of early voting because it happened in a state he knew he wasn’t going to win. These are people you know would damn well be in the streets with firearms in hand voicing their protest of results had their candidate lost.

I would apologize for getting political here, but apparently, I’m more deeply affected by the outcome of Tuesday’s election than I ever expected to be. Not because a racist, womanizing megalomaniac was elected President of the United States. But because of what his election represents, what behaviors it has created justification for in the minds of his most ardent supporters. People who are acting just as irrationally as the fundamentalist Islamic terrorists they supposedly are so afraid of and opposed to. I’m worried because I have spent the last 40 years watching us slowly, painfully progress as a country, to become more connected to the larger world, to become less restrictive of who qualifies for equal treatment, to become more conscious of the negative impact we’ve had on this planet’s health, and now all of that is at risk of being unraveled. My friends are at serious risk of losing access to healthcare, the right to marry the ones they love, the promise of clean air to breathe, of the ability to remain living in a country they’ve worked so hard to improve, and even the freedom from the threat of persecution or death for just being who they are.

I am the descendent of a people who left their native lands to avoid being slaughtered for simply existing. I am the son of a man who came to this country illegally to find a better life for his siblings and himself, and in the process made a better life for me and my family. But I am also “lucky” enough to be an educated, white, middle-class, cis-gendered male, the privilege from which should render me unaffected by all the turmoil I see my friends who represent “the other” facing now and in the coming days. But I am affected, because I can “pass,” I can navigate through this country without hesitation, without fear, and I feel somewhat helpless because I can’t share that cloak of invincibility with those who are made targets by their skin color, religious beliefs, disabilities, sexual orientation or other identifiers. I am frustrated. I am angry.

It’s been hard to focus on posting comics or making any creative work this week, because I feel like unless I’m directly addressing that frustration, that anger, then I am doing a disservice to my brothers and sisters who are hurting, who are scared, who are fearful of what’s to come. But this webcomic is important. To me. And for this time, I think. Its characters represent the great diversity that this country should reflect. I want everyone to be able to read it, find someone with whom they can connect, whether it’s because of superficial elements such as skin color or ability, or less-obvious characteristics such as dealing with loss, frustration, fear, betrayal and hope. Even if The Utopian Foundation doesn’t reach many sets of eyes, I want to make sure it’s here for the eyes that it does reach. And so here is a new comic, and a well-timed one, in which Luis realizes that he is not alone, that he need not struggle on his own, that opening himself up to a helping hand is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength and conviction of faith.