I had butterflies of equal parts fear and excitement. As soon as we surfaced, thousands of people had already gathered. I saw signs:
IMMIGRANT (arrow pointed down to a white woman holding the sign)
NOT MY PRESIDENT
THIS PUSSY GRABS BACK
So I knew it was going to be at least a good protest. No opposition in sight. Cops were helping to stop traffic. People stuck in their cars waved, honked, and cheered. The numbers were there. I felt a surge of love and an unmistakable, powerful energy.
Thousands gathered to watch. Brown-skinned men in construction and trucker hats, just showing up for work that day, saw thousands of people shouting loudly:
“SAY IT LOUD, SAY IT CLEAR: IMMIGRANTS ARE WELCOME HERE!”
The brown-skinned men were crying. They were laughing. They were waving and smiling. They knew they were not alone.
“MY BODY, MY CHOICE/HER BODY, HER CHOICE”
“TRANS LIVES MATTER”
“BLACK LIVES MATTER”
“TINY HANDS CAN’T BUILD A WALL”
“HEY HEY! HO HO! DONALD TRUMP HAS GOT TO GO!”
Many see these protests as futile, that it’s “inevitable” and we must accept it. Something you may not know (unless you were there), in addition to rejecting Trump, this is a call to fight for the rights of *everyone*. When your rights are being attacked, nothing feels more empowering than the sheer volume of people making it very clear that they are willing to fight to protect you. That’s what this is about. Regardless of Trump, we will never ever stop fighting for everyone affected by the hatred from Trump’s supporters. And the world is watching.
So here is my advice, if you are feeling hurt and helpless: If you are able-bodied, stand with us. Join us.
While our actions may not change what happens on January 19th, what I learned was this: When a trans person watches the news and sees the marches, they will feel better. When a muslim person watches the news tonight, they will feel better. When an immigrant watches the news tonight, they will feel less afraid. What does this all mean?
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You have an ally in me, and all of those people you see on the news marching. Millions are with you. I hope you can sleep a little better tonight, and smile a little knowing that. ❤