Pennsylvania

Just past Pittsburgh at 3:30 a.m. The lines are getting longer.

There’s a strange, surreal feeling to being awake in the middle of the night with hundreds of women at a roadside rest stop. Marches are odd — I’ve done Pride for many years, and there’s a certain clarity to why we’re there, why that’s worthwhile. Taking people who were living in the shadows and putting us front and center, in all our brilliant rainbow queerness, making us visible. You cannot frighten us into darkness. 

A lot of people are asking what the women’s march is for — the driver who told me he wasn’t political, as he took me to the bus drop-off, for one. We talked a little, and I mentioned the sanctuary village meeting in Oak Park, our joint refusal to collaborate with ICE — he thanked me, sounding startled, emotional. He said of his five siblings, he was the only one born in the U.S.

We talked a little more, in the ten minute ride — he asked if Trump would actually do anything — wasn’t he just a blowhard?  I talked about the Republican Congress, and how with Trump in office, they were now going to steamroller through a lot of very damaging legislation, that people’s lives would likely be lost when they repealed the ACA without anything to replace it. He got emotional about that too, asking why the government was spending money on silly things when people’s lives were on the line? Maybe he’s more political than he thinks he is.

Why do we march? It may be as simple as at Pride — the sense that there’s a massive constituency of women that have been used to, if not hiding exactly, then being pushed to the side, their concerns sidelined. There is a desire to make ourselves supremely visible.

Women have spent their money, their time, put their bodies through long, uncomfortable bus rides — as one grandmother said to me, “I’m no spring chicken!” Somehow, we thought this worthwhile, even lacking coherent goals.

We’re here. Some of us are queer.
They’re damn well going to get used to it.

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