If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you may have seen that I participated in the Women’s March on Washington this past Saturday. I marched alongside my sister, mother, brother, and several of my sisters’ friends in support of LGBT rights. This was pretty far outside my comfort zone, but I felt compelled to stand in support of my sister and her friends in light of the recent election and subsequent removal of the LGBT page from the White House website. It is never my intention to use this platform as a place to create controversy or further division among women — I sincerely hope you will all understand that this post comes from a place of love and hope and will choose to respond in kind.
My experience at the Women’s March was nothing short of extraordinary. I had no idea what to expect and was nervous about potential violence at the event. I even thought about bailing at the last minute when I woke up with a sore throat on Friday morning. Something bad could happen! I’m getting sick! It’s a five hour drive to D.C.! But I am so glad I pushed past those anxieties and excuses to show up for my sister and so many other women in this country who feel afraid and alone. To be there and witness firsthand the renewed hope of so many thousands of women was an experience I’m certain I will never forget.
I was nervous to share my experience on Instagram (and again here) because we all know politics can bring out the best and worst in people. I tried to highlight posters with a positive message and wrote a caption that felt inclusive and optimistic. And I won’t sugarcoat this part: it broke my heart to see people interpret my support of my sister as a statement against certain women, an unwillingness to accept our new president, or anything even remotely divisive. I was sad to hear that some women did not feel welcome at the march. There were women and men from truly all ages, races, identities, and causes — and zero arrests in D.C. — and I hate to think that anyone felt excluded from such a peaceful group. I agree we should strive for maximum inclusivity as we figure out the best way forward. In the mean time, let’s all pledge to do a better job of really listening to one another without making assumptions or lashing out when we disagree. Let’s celebrate our many shared experiences and seek to better understand the experiences we do not share. In the words of Maya Angelou, “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” That’s never felt more true to me than it did this past weekend in Washington.
In the end, I lost over 600 followers after my Instagram post on Saturday, but I’m eternally grateful to everyone who reminded me of all I gained. To see my sister cry tears of joy when she realized she’s not at all alone, to see her end the day with so much more hope than she’d had when she started it, made me realize how petty my concerns were by comparison. My comfort zone is comfy for a reason, but this experience felt too pivotal, too personal, to avoid discussing here. My intention is always to uplift and inspire, and you should know that I’m grateful to each and every one of you, regardless of how you voted. I hope today’s post is simply a reminder that we can all be a little more open-minded, a little less quick to judge, and a little kinder to one another. In seven years of blogging, I’ve met so many women I consider true class acts, and this weekend I realized I’d take to the streets any day to help even one or two of you.
P.S. This post has some great resources for getting involved if you too find this stuff outside your comfort zone.