Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Thoughts on Saturday's Women's March in St. Paul

A few days have passed since Saturday’s march, giving me time to absorb what all happened that day. Our purpose was pretty clear I think. Following the inauguration of a president who objectifies and physically assaults women, who wants to dismantle health care as we know it, destroy the environment, and a laundry list we all are familiar with.

So yes, the march was political. The political has become personal in our time. So many have reason to be concerned. Immigrants, Muslims, Jews, Lesbian Bisexual and Gays, Transgender people like me, People of color, Women, Disabled Americans, all who have in the past been marginalized. But for the first time, many who felt comfortable in their cisgender, heterosexual, white identities stand to lose as well.

I was grateful to be able to attend. In a wheelchair, I needed others to assist. We gathered to fill up four buses at church. Turns out many volunteered to push me. We sang and prepared for the day to come.

Whenever 100,000 human beings come together in the spirit of justice and with hearts centered in love, it transcends beyond simply political. It was a spiritual experience. Here we were, packed together like sardines, and one would expect crankiness, especially after standing in place for an hour. But rather there was laughter, sharing, planning for the future, and a firm commitment to action understanding this was but the beginning. The crowd began to move, and I had no clue where I was and others had said the same, but we moved, this mass of humanity and yet space was made for my wheelchair (and another we encountered along the way. Old and young, disabled and able bodied, a truly eclectic crowd moving towards our goal. Then we rounded a turn and ahead was the capitol and the view was breathtaking. Later some news media wanted to portray the size of the crowd by comparing it to the RNC protests. But see, I attended those protests and they were no where near the size of this one.

Personal disclosure here, I am by nature an empath. I feel the emotions of those around me. I have to say that on this day, I felt so much energy, so much love that it was overwhelming, in the best sense of course

We live in a world of identity politics, and that is important. As a trans woman, I have to speak clearly about the issues facing my community. I saw some speaking through their signage about the separations they feel and the discrimination they encounter in this country. Yes black lives do matter. Privilege by some is real. What I was seeing on that Saturday was that we all have intersections and by fighting for ALL of us, by loving ALL of us, together we make an impressive response to a president who seems unable to see beyond his own ego and shows little respect for anyone but other greedy billionaires. The energy that day by these huge crowds of women and men was palpable. Here lies the strength to undo the harm since this past election. It depends on all of us to continue to organize, to continue to look out for each other and to grow even larger this community of women and men committed to justice, and we can create the world we dream of.

Make no mistake, the forces of evil currently occupying the halls of power will not yield easily. But if we continue what we began Saturday, then we will prevail. Each of us can ask, what gifts do we have to serve the cause? How do we grow this community? For some it will be civil disobedience. For others protests. We all can call and visit our elected officials and hold them accountable. Officials who don’t seem to be able to serve their constituency needs to be replaced. Some will blog, write op-eds, others may be skilled public speakers. We must organize, organize, and organize. As community, we look out for each other, providing sanctuary, provide safe space for self-care, whatever is needed. But to quote something my pastor said, all of us can love the hell out of each other. This is our time in history. How we respond will be the measure of our futures to come. We must resist and we must prevail. All I can say is bring it on!

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