This past year, we have stepped forward boldly. Our first Women’s March blanketed the world with resistance and persistence.
But when we went home, when we tossed out our signs, and hung up our pink hats, did we take ALL our sisters back into our individual lives with us?
I asked that question this weekend as thousands descended upon the Ben Franklin Parkway once again to participate in the second annual Women’s March on Philadelphia.
As the Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, I had the honor of speaking at this year’s event.
We desire to be part of the battle. But, it is not enough to raise our signs and our voices in protest when it is convenient.
I questioned the crowd if they will stand with women of color. They roared back with approval. If they’ll stand with women living in poverty. If they’ll stand with undocumented women. Each time I asked, they roared back even stronger. Will you stand with incarcerated women? “WE WILL STAND!”
Will you stand with queer women? “WE WILL STAND!” Women living with HIV/AIDS? Women living with disabilities? Trans women, especially trans women of color? Each time, the response was deafening.
“WE WILL STAND!”
As I looked out at the crowd, I saw Philadelphia. Women and men. People of all colors and creeds. Young and old.
In that moment, we were all there together. In solidarity.
We must continue to stand up and speak out especially when it is difficult. At our dinner tables, in our classrooms, with our friends and our family members.
After Saturday, I am encouraged for what I hope is to come.
Let us continue to organize peacefully and lift up the marginalized and oppressed among us.
As the great Audre Lorde once said, “I am not free while any woman is unfree – even when her shackles are very different than my own.”