I am at home today. It’s the day of Women’s March on Washington and in my heart, I am there. My illnesses prevent me from being able to take part in those activities, but I still want to do something. So I am choosing share where my mind is today.
If I could march, I would, because I can’t be silent. I can’t ignore his lewd comments about women or excuse them as “locker room banter.” That type of talk is unacceptable. It is disrespectful and derogatory. I want a president who has the best interest of citizens in mind, and his comments show me that he does not value women for anything but their bodies. If he doesn’t value who I am, how can I trust him to protect me or my rights? I am more than my body. I have a mind and a soul. And to feel as though a president does not care about that is scary for me. I don’t need politicians to make decisions that I always agree with, but I do want to know that they are doing what they think will benefit or protect me. I can respect someone who makes decisions contrary to my beliefs, if he or she has shown that they value the people affected by their decisions.
If I could march, I would, because the Affordable Care Act protects me from being refused insurance coverage due to my pre-existing conditions. Living with chronic illnesses is difficult and expensive, but without insurance, things would be almost insurmountable. I depend on that protection. In addition, I think health care should be reasonable and accessible for everyone. I am not confident that will be the case if the ACA is repealed, especially since there is currently no plan to take its place.
If I could march, I would, because I believe that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. I believe that religious freedom is important, even when someone’s beliefs are different from mine. I believe in LGBTQ+ equality. I believe that while civil rights have improved in this country, there is still a long way to go, and I want to be a part of positive change.
I would march for 100 different reasons, but none of them would be hate. I cannot allow myself to hate President Trump, because all it would do is make me bitter. If I hate him, he wins because he’s in control of my emotions. I want more than that for myself and for the people I love. Instead, I want President Trump to good things for the United States. I want him to succeed in making this country an even better place. Still, I am afraid of what happen if he keeps his campaign promises. I am afraid of that kind of success. I am afraid for my friends of color, for my lesbian and gay loved ones, and for myself, as a disabled woman.
So I would march, if I could, because I believe in that love is stronger than hate. I believe that instead of shirking back in fear, I can stand up for the vulnerable, for the misunderstood, and for myself.