Driving down Arlington Boulevard, I didn’t know what to expect. All around me there were buildings that I’ve only read about in history books. The Washington Monument was peaking out through the clouds, the White House was in the distance and then finally we arrived at The Capital.
This great historical building that only a day before was “crowded” with republicans, now was covered in pink as far as the eye can see. I knew Washington D.C was going to be filled with people on this day, but this was incredible.
The Women’s March On Washington was a peaceful way for millions of men and women around the world to come together and make our voices heard. Many people watched it on television or read about it the next day, but I experienced it.
I never felt unsafe. I never felt unwanted by the local police. It was organized chaos and it was perfect. As a 21-year-old female, going to D.C. wasn’t even an option; it was an obligation.
We were blocks away from where the stages were, where the speeches took place, but that didn’t matter. I was in the heart of Washington D.C. surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people chanting and singing. I looked up and signs read “Care for the Planet,” “Women United Will Never be Defeated,” and my all-time favorite “Fuck Trump.”
We sang “Lean On Me,” and marched toward the White House.
Men and women were there for thousands of reasons. It was amazing to see what each person was there to represent. From the Dakota Access Pipeline to equal rights for the LGBTQIA community, there wasn’t one minority not represented. Together, we stood up for something bigger than ourselves.
My friends and family kept asking me why? Why am I going down there? What’s the point? I marched because I believe that if I work my ass off for a promotion, I should get paid just as much as my male coworker.
I believe Planned Parenthood should not only be funded – but expanded. I believe that no matter who you love, you have the right to marry them. I believe that diversity is beautiful and we should embrace it. I believe sexual assault shouldn’t be normalized and the leader of this great country shouldn’t be demoralizing women or worse.
As we marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, it was a surreal moment to say the least. Lined up on the side was the National Guard. As I watched from a distance, an African American Servicewomen shook a marcher’s hand and said “Thank you for doing this, this means everything.” One by one each National Guard member shook marchers’ hands thanking them for our service, as we thanked them for theirs.
We walked by Trump Hotel and instead of throwing rocks at the building and vandalizing the property, everyone just chanted, “Shame,” and “Hey, Ho, Donald Trump has got to go.” We were sending a peaceful, but powerful message throughout the world that we will not stand for Trump and his far right cabinet.
We have a right to be scared of what the next few years will bring. I hope Trump succeeds and does well, but I refuse to let my rights be pushed aside for his privileged agenda.