Today I went to the Women’s March on Idaho. I went alone. I knew people who were going, and I planned to find them in the crowd, but, to be honest, there was too much crowd to find anyone. So, I marched. By myself. Which, I have to say, is huge for me. I don’t do things without backup. Ever.
So, I was alone, but as it turns out, not alone at all.
Let me tell you what I learned today.
Groups of likeminded people are a powerful force. Groups of people who put their differences aside to march together in hopes of unity are even more powerful.
I did a lot of talking to strangers today. (How impressed are you right now?! Be impressed.) I talked to a woman who is pro-life, but fighting to keep Planned Parenthood funding intact to assure affordable healthcare for those who need it. I talked to her friend who is pro-choice, but understands the sensitivity of talking about abortion, and the necessity of listening to those who disagree with it.
I talked to a woman who told me she was seventy-five, and that she had been depressed since the election. She had tears on her cheeks. She said, “I’ve been moved to tears so many times today, and it’s the first time I’ve cried since Trump won, that the tears haven’t been for fear, or sorrow.” I told her I knew how she felt. She smiled and gave my hand a squeeze.
For a bit I marched next to a family who told me about making signs together the night before. How much it brought them together, and how it gave them a chance to talk to their kids about those who have marched for so many reasons in the past. Their little girl (I’m guessing she was five) showed me her sign. It said, “I’ll tear down the walls you build,” on one side, and, “Love is the future,” on the other.
Early on, before things started, a woman carrying a Trans Lives Matter sign saw me off to the side by myself, and came to make sure I was okay. I told her I was, just taking everything in. She said, “I know what you mean! And in Idaho! Can you imagine?” She told me I was fierce, I told her she was too. She went back to her group of friends.
There were people marching with Water is Life signs, Black Lives Matter signs, and Equal Pay for Equal Work signs. There were rainbows, and religious symbols, and so many cats. The message of intersectional feminism was loud and clear. Every speaker represented a different message that needed to be heard: Trans, Latina, Black, Refugee, Muslim, Queer… so many diverse voices, so many women listening, cheering, coming together. It was fantastic to see that the organizers had been thoughtful about who they gave a platform. It was beautiful. It was peaceful. It gave me hope.
I wore my Hillary pin, and I wore my Internet Coven of Bitches Who Protect Each Other pin. Under my jacket I wore my Nasty Woman shirt. I sang. I marched. I chanted. I stood in the snow, and the wet, and was soaked to the bone. By the end I couldn’t feel my fingers, and I absolutely did not care. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever attended, and I love that I was there.
I don’t know what will come of the marches that happened today, but for a moment, I was at peace. There were women marching with us all over the country (it was -23 in Nome, Alaska, and 100 people still showed up), as well as all over the world. France, Malawi, Kenya, Germany, Australia, Sweden, New Zealand, and so many other countries came together in solidarity with those of us marching in the US. There was even a contingent on Antarctica. Today, we were uncountable, unstoppable. We were a force to be reckoned with, and I believe, a reckoning is coming.