It was a fairly tame day, filled with music and mild chanting, with lots of signs both comical and questionable, with people and their families. I was happy to see queer couples, immigrant families, disabled people, women of color, all together in one space. I could have done without the pussy hats and the many signs that centralized cis-gender women's concerns.
While I think it is important to recognize this emerging call for unity despite differences, it is so important to acknowledge those queer/trans/black/indigenous people who have been at the forefront of these movements. For those who have carried the torch of resistance in their bodies since birth, whose ancestors whispered to them through the wind the histories of their people that had been silenced.
I hope that each and every person who showed up to march will be willing to hold themselves accountable for their own actions going forward, myself included. Resistance is more than just showing up to a peaceful protest on a sunny day, resistance is questioning everything you have ever learned in your body to understand how your privilege plays into the violence against others. Resistance is the willingness to stand up for people outside of your own experience. Resistance is showing up time and time again, not just when you see your own reflection in the murky waters.
Allyship is acknowledging the humanity in the person who collects plastic bottles in one hand, protest sign in the other, as much as you acknowledge the person wearing a fuzzy pink "pussy" coat. Allyship is questioning your own prejudices and lovingly calling out the people in your community for theirs.
Intersectionality means that there is no feminism that does not address racism. There is no racism that does not address the environment. And so on. There is no way to talk about anything without talking about everything. This should not be a pick your choice out of the bag of issues to stand up for game. It needs to be bigger than that.
It is time for people to learn how to see themselves reflected in those who do not look like them, speak like them, pray like them. It is time to hold empathy for those who have been in pain and have been fighting, those who continue to take risks because they have not had the option to lay back and bask in the comfort of oblivion.
The feelings I have are complicated. As is of no surprise to me. As they have always been. It was beautiful and important to see so many different faces marching together all over the world. It made me smile, it lightened my heart, it felt good. But today it rains again. Pours, really. And I'm stuck thinking of how for so many of us this is not the beginning. This has been the ongoing reality of our lives.