Yesterday, I marched with you in my heart

Yesterday, January 21, 2017, I walked with 15,000 Tucson residents and visitors; I marched for Women, for Immigrants, for Religious Minorities, for  Persons of Colour, and everyone else who stands in solidarity and is working for equality.

I didn't watch the Inauguration-- the first one I've missed watching on television in my adult life. I couldn't say good bye to Mr Barack Obama and his lovely life-partner, Michelle Obama, and say hello to Donald Trump and Melania. I couldn't watch, I couldn't listen to the speeches, see the sad parade, or listen to the few "F" listed bands and musical acts that were convinced to participate in the event that day, or the night before.

Rather, I prepared myself for the Women's March, on Sunday.

I marched in the windy streets of downtown Tucson, expecting rain. I knew my sisters marched in snow, rain, flooding and cold, across the United States, and (as I later learned) in many, many countries across the world! We carries signs, helped each other across the uneven ground, and cried tears of joy, love and determination-- together.

I got up, early, on Saturday. After an entire week of short nights, and long, long days, to be ready to march. I packed water, snacks and tissues in my bag, and we set out. I didn't carry a sign, but I feel that I carried something so much heavier.

I carried so many women and girls, queer persons, trans* persons, everyone I love with me on that march. I carried them all in my heart.

I marched for my nieces, by blood and by love,
I marched for my young cousins, little girls who are 4, 8, 10, and even older,
I marched for my aunties, my Tias, the women in my life, older and wiser, who have inspired me,
I marched for my grandmothers, my abuelas, the women who fought for my right to stand, to be unmoveable,
I marched for my older cousins, women who are amazing, wonderful women, some raising children; women who are so strong and powerful that I am humbled by their spirits,
I marched for my sisters in Tucson, in Texas, in Ohio and in Michigan, in every state, every city, who couldn't march because they had to work, to care for their families, to carry their daily burdens,
I marched for my sons, for my nephews, for my cousins and uncles, my brothers and all the men in my life that I love-- they need to know this is important,
I marched so that I could be counted-- for myself, and all the women who I carried in my heart
I marched so that my voice would be heard, my face seen-- for myself and all the women I carried with me, in my heart <3

I marched, becuase that's ym first step-- not my last. I won't be silent, I won't be quiet, be ladylike, be polite and be accepting of the glorious women I know and love being treated like rubbish. I won't be silently as women of colour are abused, as Muslim women are abused, as immigrants are turned away, and sent to die. I won't be quiet and ladylike, politely asking permission to control my body, to be my own person-- and I won't be silent as the little girls in my life see men trying so hard to control them-- they need to see women rising up, protesting and refusing.

I'm not saying I'm the best role model. I'm flawed as hell, and I get irritated and can't always speak the words that are bubbling up in my throat because the anxiety chokes me. I know I'm not perfect, and I fall down on the job; but I try. I try so hard, every day, to be the voice of the girl I was when I was little-- the voice of the little girls coming up now.

I'm obnoxiously feminist, and pro-choice. I'm proud of myself, and I'm out in my pansexual-queer identity. I'm politically active, liberal and unabashedly unashamed of my life.

I'm also angry, so very angry. I'm angry that there are still men in this country who believe I'm worth nothing more than my breeding potential; angry that my non-belief makes me "less-than" according to the religions of some. I'm angry that the powerful little girls in this country are being tuaght to be pretty and shut up, otherwise they're rubbish. I'm angry that the abuelas in this country are in danger of losing their health care, that my Tias can't get coverage, that my cousins are working 2 and 3 jobs and living in poverty, that my neices and nephews, the children of my sisters all across this country, go to bed hungry because this country cares more about war planes than children...

So, I marched.

And I'll shout, and scream; agitate and call; write letters and send money. I'll do everything I can, in every way I can, as long as I can. Until I can lay down this mantle, and don't have to beg my daughter to pick it up again.

I resist. I don't submit. I don't agree, and I won't be silent.
Until every last woman, and every last minority, and every single person in this country has a voice,
I'll march...

And if you can't go with me, if you can't physically stand there, by my side, holding my hand,
I promise, I'll carry you in my heart.


Comments

  1. Thank you! For being the voice of my daughters, of my wife, of my mother and grandmothers! Thank you for being the light that leads my son to be a fighter for women and immigrants and LGBTQ and others instead of someone who seeks to beat them down! Thank you for carrying the mantle for those of us unable to lift it, who were so overcome by fear and anguish that we couldn't see a way forward. Know that your example has inspired us and given us the strength and the courage to carry on the fight we thought hopeless. We will not let you down!

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