At 5am, my alarm went off. I was tired and annoyed, but I worked my way down the side of the bed and off the bottom. I did my best not to disturb my boyfriend, but he woke up anyway and kissed me. “Good bye. Stay safe. Have fun.”
I was going to the Women’s March in person. I’d heard about it less than two weeks before, and I didn’t understand it. However, I understood that history was being made, and more people were gathering than I had ever heard of. I didn’t know what to protest because there were so many things. Instead of over-planning and preparing my life, I packed some snacks into a hiking bag, put on my most comfortable shoes and went.
I got to the closest Metro station at 6:30 and I found a parking spot. I saw so many pink hats and angry women. I almost called them nasty, but I realized that I wasn’t there to protest Trump’s view of women. I wasn’t there as a woman even.
Every morning I wake up and ask myself “What’s my gender today?” I try out some pronouns in the mirror and choose clothing to see what fits. That morning, I simply walked out the door, knowing I was going to be a part of history and never asked why. I watched these women of purpose all over the train. Some with signs and some without. Some were in couples and others were with children. I saw men who looked like they might have voted for Trump holding signs that said “Impeach the Monster.” I scolded myself for judging people I didn’t know.
When I started talking to a couple from Indiana, they informed me that they didn’t know where to get off and I told them to follow me. Yvette and Belinda bought me coffee and offered numerous times to buy me a shirt, a hat, or breakfast. I said no to everything. I wasn’t there to protest, but I sure wasn’t there to get anything either. I was truly being nice for the sake of being nice.
Before we left the train, a girl came through handing out signs. She wasn’t white, but she smiled at me and I looked closely, wanting to pick a sign that felt right. After all, this whole day had been me following my instincts. In big, bold letters, I read “Black Lives Matter.” It felt right, and I carried it proudly from the metro while Yvette asked “Why did she give you THAT one?” I informed them that I chose it as soon as I saw it. Though I am white and ignorant, I am not close-minded. This was my instinct and it was right.
We walked from Union Station into the heart of Washington, D.C. I’ve walked along the Mall so many times in my life, but this time, my feet just took me where I needed them to. I couldn’t tell you what drove me towards the center of a crowd I would normally avoid. I couldn’t say why I stayed on the street instead of finding some grass. The map said 3rd and Independence. We managed to slide in through the side street to 4th.
I could see the stage in the middle of the block, next to the Native American museum. I watched as many folks from every walk got onto the stage and told me their stories. It all felt right. From the people pushing past me to get to the bathroom, to the stranger who stepped on my foot as she passed. I received a free hand-knitted hat from a kind human who had an extra. I was outfitted to protest, and I was angry.
Only, I still didn’t know what I was protesting. I woke up that morning not even knowing myself. What was I doing. I watched as one by one, every speaker told their personal stories. I made those stories my own. I listened. I walked down every road presented. And a song began, which honored the victims of excessive force by police officers. The anger that rises against the black community rose against so many and ended their lives. I held my sign as defiantly as I could as I shouted “Say their names.”
And I knew by then. I wasn’t there to protest. I was there to stand with those who shouldn’t stand alone. By choosing a sign that said “Black Lives Matter,” I made sure to cover a base so far away from myself that I could stand with everything between. I am angry and yes, I am nasty. I wasn’t there to protest Trump. He is just one person who serves as the catalyst for my anger. I was there to protest what has happened to fellow humans. Women of all kinds are being divided by phrases like “Pussy Power” and “Not My Vagina.” Human beings of all colors are being lost in the anger of my race.
I am woman. But I am also man. That is my nature. I am all the things between, and some things outside of those. I can only identify as white, but I can identify with others. I can see myself in the black man who was killed by police. I can stand with the Native American protecting her tribe. I can stand with the Palestinian-American who is just practicing a religion.
The injustices to them are injustices to my well-being. I cannot walk in their shoes, but I can and will imagine it every day. I can and will fight for their freedoms. My life is not filled with cis people. My life is not filled with white people. The diversity in this world creates a wonderful picture of color, where I see myself more clearly because I am surrounded by an outline of wonderful, diverse stories.
At the Women’s March, I learned who I am not. And because I could learn that, I finally learned who I need to stand with.
This post was written by Indigo Wolfe. Indigo is a genderfluid, demisexual human who enjoys adult toys, adult beverages, and adult situations. They review all of these things at their blog, Indigo is an Adult. Recently, they’ve found a love for educating others on sexuality, sexual health and sex, so they are now pursuing degrees and a career to help with those passions.
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