Now My Heart Is Broken

Christopher Rudolph was #WithHer till the end. What now?

I live in a Hillary Clinton shrine.

That’s what I’ve come to realize these past few days since the election. There are magnets of her on my fridge, posters on my wall, an action figure of her by my computer and every surface has either Hillary pins, bumper stickers or newspapers from historic days during her campaign.

I even have a painting of my dog recreating her iconic campaign poster.

How Bernie Bros were this past year—not giving up even after it was clear Bernie Sanders couldn’t get the nomination? That was me with Hillary back in 2008. Then once Obama was elected president I became an original member of the “I’m Ready For Hillary” campaign, already setting our sights on 2016.

In 2014, I waited in line for almost seven hours for her to sign my copy of Hard Choices at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square.

I spoke with her briefly and told her how my father was in the House of Delegates in Maryland for 20 years. She said that was fantastic as she signed my book.

I was there on Roosevelt Island when she gave her first speech after announcing her candidacy. I was there when she spoke to a small group of us after the primary debate the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and I was there when she made her speech after receiving enough delegates to become the Democratic nominee.

hillary clinton

I bought Hillary merchandise. Lots of it. I volunteered at her Brooklyn headquarters, making calls to voters in Ohio. I even went canvassing for her in Philadelphia with my boyfriend the weekend before the election.

I wore my Hillary pins and shirts like badges of honor.

Today's @hillaryclinton swag. #imwithher #electionday

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I was in the Javits Center Tuesday night, preparing for a celebration. But as the night went on, I realized I was at a wake. Looking around the room, people were crying as we watched the results come in.

In the days since, I’ve felt like I’ve experienced a death in the family. I still haven’t stopped crying. Not just a couple tears, but a full on Color Purple/Bridges of Madison County ugly cry. My eyes are so puffy, I look like Renee Zellweger.

I thought there couldn’t be anything worse than Brokeback Mountain losing out to Crash for Best Picture. I was wrong.

@theangelmabel is #WithHer #hillaryclinton #electionday

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I sobbed in the shower the morning after. Cried while getting dressed for work. I called my mother up in tears, barely able to get any words out. She told me that Hillary would want me to go to work. She is a fighter and I should be too. I took her advice, but silently crying at my desk is a new experience for me.

I put my heart and soul into this campaign and now my heart is broken.

I want to thank all my friends for reaching out and asking if I’m okay. I’m not okay, but I will be.

My friend Liz had a great analogy for the result of the election: “it’s like finding out you have a cancerous tumor growing and you feel betrayed by your own body. Except the body is America. But we will treat it.”

Received this bumper sticker in the mail today from Hillary's campaign office. #knifeintheheart

A photo posted by Christopher Rudolph (@chrisreindeer) on

This morning I went to take one of my Hillary pins off of my vest but instead I replaced it with my biggest Hillary pin, to show the world that #ImWithHer still.

I will always be with her, and she will always be with me in my heart. Even while it’s broken.

I write about drag queens. Dolly Parton once ruffled my hair and said I was "just the cutest thing ever."