It was especially amazing to be there representing all the transgender women who weren't able to be there in person. My partner and I both proudly flew our transgender flags and we were not the only ones flying that blue, white and pink banner. We saw many signs too that mentioned transgender rights. Though transgender people are a minority, our voices will be heard and we will not be silent. And we have allies. We have lots and lots of allies.
So beyond amazing, what was it like to be there? I thought I'd share my experiences and my pictures too.
|Freshly arrived in Maryland - ready to march.|
Unfortunately, no one told me about the color coordination. Not only did I not have a pink hat with kitty ears, I didn't have any white clothes to honor the Suffragettes either! What would Elizabeth Cady Stanton even say to such a person? Luckily, my friends are pretty creative people and had lots of arts and crafts supplies on hand. So I took a couple pipe cleaners and whipped up my own pussy hat.
Well, that wasn't to be the case.
Above is the entrance to the Shady Grove stop, the last stop on the DC Metro's Red Line. Yup. There must have been two or three thousand people waiting to get on the train. You can't see it from the picture, but this crowd goes back for at least another two hundred yards. It was insane.
Still, we were in good spirits. I hadn't brought a sign (though after reading all the clever ones people had brought, I started to wish I had made one). Instead my partner and I carried transgender pride flags. Recently I bought a dozen of them online because you apparently can't buy them in amounts smaller than twelve.
The march technically started at 1pm, but what happened was that they started the music and speeches at 1pm and they easily went on for an hour and a half. It was probably cool to listen to Gloria Steinem, Alicia Keys, Janet Mock, Ashley Judd, Madonna and others talk or perform, but slightly frustrating when you can't actually see or hear anything.
A lot of people were getting impatient and shouts of "Start the march!" were echoing through the crowd. Mostly we didn't mind the wait. As far as we saw it, simply having numbers like this present in DC was what mattered. Whether we walked down the street or not, it was clear that we had managed to bring quite a crowd who wanted to be heard. Even if we never marched, simply being there counted for a lot.
Heck, we even saw some counter protester pro-life people and I gave them a smile and a wave. My friend saw some seriously lost Trump supporters and stopped to ask if they were okay and if they needed directions. We saw a small group of counter-protesters who wanted to point out that they felt the march organizers should have been more inclusive. I saw that one had a transgender pin so I gave her one of my extra transgender flags and we had a nice moment.
|Pictured: Love trumping the absolute heck out of hate.|
It was around 3pm by the time we all took over the Mall and I was beginning to regret having skipped breakfast and lunch. Standing for five hours thus far was also slowly transforming my comfortable ankle boots into uncomfortable ankle boots. But we persevered. C'mon Trump is actually President. We have to be strong and bear the unbearable. Even if that means uncomfortable booties and no McDonald's hash browns.
By around five, when the March made a turn onto 14th Street to head north towards the White House, we were able to slowly, very slowly, and with extreme awkwardness and many "I'm sorrys," make our way out of the main mass of marchers.
Now, I'm definitely not one for protests. Honestly, I think there's a big issue on the left where too many people think a protest alone is somehow going to solve their problems. It's not. A march, a protest, is a way to get people organized, energized and ready for action. But the march is not the action. Still, it got me geared up for action in a way I totally didn't expect.
The Women's March on Washington was wonderful. It felt wonderful to be there and to be accepted as a transgender woman. This march made me hopeful and I hope we can transfer this energy into action to get out the votes! We have to get congress back in 2018 and in the mean time I hope people keep writing their city, state and national reps, get involved in their local city councils, in their state legislatures, with their congresspeople too! There's a lot more going on the a Presidential election, and the people in your state legislatures have more power over your life than POTUS.
|Two marchers ready for their bus back to NYC.|
The Women's March showed that we can organize. It showed that we have the energy and the will. Now all we have to do is apply that will to a practical purpose. Are you in?
We are visible. We are not silent. We are real Americans. We resist.
And for those of you who aren't into politics...I promise this blog will not be exclusively political. I remember during the Bush years when politics took over a lot of outlets to their detriment. I have political opinions, I think certain issues are important, I will speak out about them, but don't worry. Adventures of a Gender Rebels will not be just politics for the next four years. C'mon. It's me. You know I'm gonna wanna talk fashion and whatnot too. :)
Also be sure and check out the Gender Rebels podcast episode we made about our experience at the march.