On January 21st, 2017, I had the privilege of going to the Women’s March in Los Angeles. It was easily one of the most inspiring events I have been a part of and I have been drawing from that inspiration since.
Now let me start from the beginning… To be honest, I didn’t want to go to the march–not at first anyway. My partner and I went back and forth on whether or not we should go. To give you some context, my partner and I are in a bi-racial, lesbian relationship. We wanted to go to the march, but we were scared about being in a huge crowd representing ideals like social equity, fairness, and a call for the nation to take an honest look at what it currently is and what it could it be. I wasn’t scared because of the ideals. I hold these close and dear to my purpose in life. Heck, it wasn’t that I was scared to tell people what I believe. No, I was scared of the thought that I, or my partner, could lose our lives that day.
There are people out there that may have wanted to hurt us because our ideals were a threat to their comfort and power. Our mere identities as lesbian women in a bi-racial relationship is a threat to some people.
Then it dawned on me: The fear I was feeling about going to the march was the very reason for the march. The reason my partner and I decided to go.
During the march, it was incredible to see the amount of people marching alongside each other for a common purpose. It brought me to tears as I walked the streets of Los Angeles. I felt like this entire crowd, if i was in trouble, would come to my rescue and keep me safe. This was the reason I marched–to bring about a world in which my future, hypothetical children could walk the streets and feel safe. I took the photographs in this post not only to document the day and get these badass shots of some badass people. I took them with my future and the future of my family in mind. I had to be able to say “I went and I stood up for something.”
Although the march was a very powerful experience for me and my partner, I was saddened to hear the stories for those that did not feel included or safe that day. There were apparently feuds between POC activists and white activists. There was a large amount of trans women who felt excluded because the overarching theme of “Pussy Power” and “Stay out of my uterus” signs that day. I’m not saying it was wrong to yell out “Pussy Power!” but what I am saying is that the lack of intersectionality at the march was disappointing, but nothing new.
The birth of the Women’s Rights Movement did not originally include black women. In fact, it was overtly against the inclusion of black women. This does not mean the Women’s March of January 2017 failed. Rather, it means we have work to do. It means we have questions to ask. It means we have to fight harder for each other and hold ourselves accountable for the biases we hold, but may not be aware of.
These next few years will be interesting with the new administration, but I am dedicated to doing my part to make sure not only my freedoms are secured, but the freedoms of the marginalized groups around me are also safe.
I went to the Women’s March and I came back changed. I came back inspired and aware of my power within this world.
To see my photos from the march please follow this link.