Womens March on Washington

img_1511img_1422-1On The Washington Mall with my pals

img_1540This was the biggest protest in US history.  It was ignored by mainstream media but we all could have predicted that.img_1538-1img_1534-1img_1532-1img_1516-1img_1443img_1456img_1427img_1449img_1491img_1557img_1554-1There were over half a million marchers.  img_1442Angela Davis as The Statue Of Liberty, a personal fav.img_1450Seven attempts a dialogue with a group holding signs that say “Feminism Destroys Families”.  One of the sign holders identified himself as a feminist saying that he’ll give us equal pay if we’ll stop killing babies.  There was no shouting or swearing or name calling thus potential for productive dialogue.  Then, another person from their group referenced the bible in order to justify some homophobic rhetoric.  Seven responded, referencing the bible, and asked him for his virgin daughter.  He told us we were interpreting the bible wrong.  We moved on.img_1499-1Yes that signs says “GAY:  Got Aids Yet”  Haven’t scene that sign in some years.  We chanted “Love Trumps Hate”  drowning out the megaphones that told us we were going to hell.img_1543A punk band in a nearby park

We were outside marching and milling for about 8 hours.  We were fortunate to have a really nice place to stay with friends just 2 miles from the march.  We had a fun road trip to and from Boston to D.C.  There was productive conversation in the car, on the streets and at the after parties.  There was also plenty of unproductive banter from all sides.  Overall it gave me hope and left me feeling empowered and motivated and clear about my next steps of resistance on my micro level.   One thing is clear, we must unite and support each other in order to resist.img_1495-1img_1474

D.C. Bound

I am headed to the Women’s March on Washington (WMW) this weekend.  While I generally go out of my way to avoid crowds and seek quiet places,  I need a little hope right now.  So I’m going way out of my way and out of my comfort zone to stand in solidarity with over 200,000 marchers who recognize that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.

From the WMW:

The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared.

All are welcome.  Here’s more information:

www.womensmarch.com

I’m mostly marching as an ally.

But I am also marching as a queer person.

Last summer I was locking my bike in Copley Square when this guy pointed at me and yelled, “That’s a fucking dyke right there.”  I looked up and he was all, “what the fuck are you looking at?!  I hate fucking dykes” and it went on and he spat on the ground everytime he said the word dyke.  I was frozen.  He got more aggressive yelling and threatening me.  I finally unfroze and realized I should stop staring at him like a deer in headlights and get away from him.  Many people walked by and did nothing.  I pulled myself together and quickly walked away half trotting.  Ironically I was on my way to BAGLY, a local LGBTQ Youth Organization I’ve been volunteering at for the past 6+ years.  I was very shaken up and grateful to have that community to go to in that moment.  This was a pretty isolated incident for me.  While I can barely use a women’s bathroom without being told I’m in the wrong bathroom, and while I do experience a range of micro aggressions on a regular basis, it’s rare that I have experienced such outward blatant hate.

Ultimately I recognize that I have a lot of privilege.  I’ve learned a lot from working with queer youth many of whom are black, brown, trans, poor, homeless, disowned, 1st generation immigrant, etc…

The biggest thing I’ve learned from doing youth work is that privilege is power.  Some of us have more, some of us have less.  The point is what we do with it.  I don’t want to be a bystander while the most gruesome parts of history repeats itself.