So I moved to New York, USA on the 4th of November 2016. Four days before the worst day ever. Having just landed in the country there was a nice few days of not very much wifi and an Airbnb with no television. I felt like I was in an election free bubble and it felt great! The sun was shining in New York and there was still hope. On the night of November 8th we watched our hopes be crushed.
When a friend suggested we go the the Women’s March on Saturday I jumped at the chance. Despite the fact that there have been many Trump protests and marches in New York in the last few months, I have only witnessed them on Snapchat. There was no question in my mind that this was going to be the most important march and I was going to be part of it.
The second I arrived on the subway platform I could see people with signs and flags and I felt very reassured and excited. I didn’t have a sign but showing up to be counted was what was important. As the train filled, more signs, flags, badges and balloons appeared. The 6 train going uptown towards the starting point of the march, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, was full to the brim but we all knew why we were there and that we all stood for the same thing. It’s not often that being squashed into a subway carriage actually puts you in a better mood. We left the train, followed the crowd and the inspirational messages and joined the march.
The uplifting atmosphere that filled the subway, spilled onto the streets of Manhattan. The sun shone on us as we spoke our minds and stood together. When something as horrible as Donald Trump getting elected happens, it’s so reassuring to see the hundreds of thousands of people who were devastated by that result, standing up and moving forward. To be a part of a march so massive was so reassuring. I feel reassured that we can work together to make a difference, that our voice is strong and worth being listened too. I also felt like I should never shy away from speaking up about things that are important to me, my gender and to anyone who have felt marginalised for simply being themselves. Unfortunately, bullying is not confined to the school yard or our teenage years. All your life you will come across people who will laugh at you and belittle you. Well know this, there are literally millions of people who are willing and want to fight for you. Millions. Yesterday was the biggest protest in US history. And this spread across the entire globe. We are already writing ourselves into the history books in the best way, peacefully. As the fight gets tougher our voices will get louder, and our beliefs for equality for all will not waiver. Remember, when they go low, we go high.
I could not have wished for a more hopeful feeling for the present time and the future. People who support equality are everywhere and they aren’t going anywhere. It is scary to stand up for what you believe in but I’ve learned that if you don’t, you’re not changing anything. Your silence won’t protect you. Don’t be afraid to say your a feminist! (I’m a massive one!) Don’t ever think you deserve less of anything because you are different. Don’t think you can’t make a difference. The world is listening we just have to keep on talking.
Thank you New York.