Lea Salonga recalled in a Facebook post on Sunday, November 8, the anxiety she felt after Donald Trump was elected US president in 2016.
In her post, the Broadway star and coach of the Voice of the Philippines said that they were having tech runs for the play Fun Home when they heard the news.
“We all got the news at the same time, and that unfamiliar sense of dread and fear went through me,” she said.
“I’m a woman of color that spends plenty of time in the United States. My daughter is growing up to be a woman of color, an actual Asian-American. And the both of us could, in our own unique ways, feel that something wasn’t quite right with the force,” she said, referring to Nicole, her daughter with husband Robert Chien.
“It was the first time I actually felt apprehension walking in the streets of one of the biggest melting pots in the world, New York City. I felt I had to constantly look over my shoulder to make sure I was far enough away from people so as not to get attacked. Every time I went on stage during my US and Canadian tours, Nicole would always… always ask the question, ‘Are you going to be OK? No one’s going to hurt you while you’re on stage?’ I had to reassure her that I would be safe. She was doubly worried when on tour in 2019 I went out on stage with crutches, hobbling until I reached my spot, sat down, got settled, and sang,” she said.
She said that she never felt “that sort of anxiety” before, and that singing onstage and being in the company of friends helped her get over those feelings during the tour.
“No one should ever have to feel this kind of fear in a democracy. Please repeat that sentence as often as necessary.”
Lea said Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ win made her feel “something familiar and more welcome.”
“Today, it feels like I can go back to the USA (well, not while we’re still in the midst of a pandemic, but you know what I mean) and not have to feel like I’m being watched by nefarious forces wanting to do me harm. Today, I feel something familiar and far more welcome: HOPE.”
Lea earlier showed her support for the US president-elect, posting photos of them at the Tony Awards in 2017.