On January 21st, I was proud to be a part of the Women's March in Washington DC. It was not the first national March on Washington that I've been a part of, but it was certainly one of the most passionate and timely.
As I was leading a support group today, I was asked, "So you march so the President sees you?" I thought for a moment and I said, "No. There are many people we were marching for, but he wasn't one."
Who then? Why do we march and what good does it do us? Here are my thoughts:
1) I march for myself and for people like me. These events are amazing at bringing us together, at energizing the base, at helping us to focus our message and for not feeling alone in the dark.
2) I march for the politicians who are on our side. Right now, that's most of the Democratic Senators and Congresspeople, but it's also Governors and Mayors around the country. They need to see that there are people counting on them to do the right thing, and a lot of them.
3) I march for the bureaucrats. There are people in federal, state and city government who are there as a career choice. These aren't political appointees, but people who need to weather the storm of changing administrations, and right now, they need to know that we are here for them as much as they are for us.
4) I march for the politicians on the other side: Congressmen, Senators, state and local officials need to see us in their districts, on their streets, and at their offices. If they love their districts as much as they love their jobs, they'll get the message that we're out here. My Congressman, Dan Donovan, was the DA on the Eric Garner case, so we know that #BlackLivesDontMatter to him, but we made sure to call him and remind him that his district has a huge Muslim population and that it's very vocal.
5) I march for people who WISH they could be at the march, but for some reason they can't be there. Maybe they live too far, maybe there are mobility issues, or maybe it's something darker: wives whose husbands wouldn't let them go. Teens who can't tell their family they're gay or transgender. People for whom financial and societal pressures are too much, because yes, it's a luxury to take off on a weekend and travel to DC to March. We often forget that: it's a privilege to be able to protest.
6) I march for people unlike me, people who may never meet me or another drag queen or another gay person or someone from New York City. I march so they may, if they wish, see that there is a bigger broader world than they know. It's not us New Yorkers, who live in the most diverse city in the world, with entire ranges of education, ethnic, cultural, sexual, gender and religious vistas before us who live in a bubble, it's the people who refuse to acknowledge that others worldviews are important and that whole is greater than the sum of its parts that need to see us marching.
Whether it's a march on the mall in Washington DC, a protest at JFK airport, or simply ordering from the Muslim-owned deli on one corner, rather than the bagel place with Fox News on the TV, you can make a difference. Honor each other, march with each other, and march FOR each other.
But keep marching, baby! Keep marching!
4/8 Immigrants' March
4/29 Climate March
6/11 LGBT March
TBA Scientists March
Why I March
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Thoughts, observations and comments from Witti Repartee, hostess, fundraiser, bon vivant and...well, lots else.