There was so much hate. So much fear. So much anger. Gabriela didn't know what to do with it. She'd attended the local March For Women with a friend and her family. They were Muslim, and marching because they were worried what would happen to them now simply because of their religion. That wasn't right. No one should be scared because of their religion. Not in the United States of American. But they were, so Gabriela marched with them.
She saw some amazing things that day. People of all races, religions, and from every walk of life coming together to love and support one another...But she saw some ugly things too. She watched as a group of white women disrespected the prayer circle of a party of Native American women and mocked their songs. She watched a woman walk up to another woman with beautiful, long, dreadlocks and stroke her hair without even asking. She listened as a group of people marching nearby made comments about her friend's grandmother, joking about if she was hiding a bomb under her hijab. Confused and a little angry she spoke to her father about it when she got home that night.
"People, even will intentioned people, have a lot to learn. We have a long, long way to go. Intention means nothing, especially without action to back it up, but it's a start. If people keep on from here on out, it's a start." he had said. Gabriela was determined to keep on.
At school the opinion was split. Many kids supported the march. Some, like Gabriela, had gone with friends or family. There were others who said it was stupid though. Who said that women were already equal, and that they should be thankful for the opportunities they had in this country.
It was about so much more than that though! Gabby thought, but she couldn't make the words come. Her stutter got so much worse when she tried.
Finally, after almost 2 weeks, while cuddling in bed with Maya one afternoon, it came to her! The words came. Jumping up so fast that she startled her kitten, Gabriela curled up on her window seat with her notebook and let her feelings flow out through her pen. It wasn't perfect, and she still had more to say, but it was a start. Oh yes, it was a start.
For the right to love.
It shouldn't be confined to your definition.
You need to stop using The Word for your ammunition.
For the right to speak.
Every person has the basic right to just be heard.
Close your mouth and listen instead of getting in the final word.
For the right to live.
It shouldn't matter where you live or the color of your face.
We all have the right to life as members of the human race.
For the right to learn.
Money should not determine the right to an education.
An educated society will only benefit all people in every generation.
For the past.
The mistakes that are now ahead of us have already happened before.
They came for them, now they come again, and it's time to say "No more!"
For you, for me, for all faiths, genders, and society.
For good, for right, we're not scared to enter into this fight.
For the right to love, live, laugh, choose. We have so very much to loose.
So we march.