Why I Marched

Why I Marched

Proud by Choice
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I was lucky enough to go to the Women's March on Washington with a group from my school. Anyone who has been in a public place with me knows that I absolutely HATE crowds. They make me freak out internally and very rarely externally.

So, you're probably asking yourself why in the hell this anxious by nature claustrophobic with a particular "fondness" for unending crowds went to a march where AT LEAST half a million people were.

I would like to say that the answer is simple, which would coincide with my usual snark, but it is actually pretty complex.

The Spark Notes answer is that I marched because I am out and proud.

Coming out was a bit of a hot mess for me, like too many things in my life. From what I remember, it just kind of happened while I was an emotional puddle. The weirdest thing is that the people I came out to knew and had known for a long time. They were just waiting for me to say something. My coming out story is like me, a little odd.

As the events leading up to the election unfolded, I felt more fear than I had ever while I was in that closet. I still am afraid, not just for myself, but for my friends of all different backgrounds. So many of my friends were already afraid, because people hated them for something that they can not hide, nor can they change. After the results of the election, their fear understandably escalated. For me, the Pulse Nightclub shooting put my fear at uncomfortable levels. After the election, the fear changed. It went from a black cloud to something that I use to add fuel to my internal fire.

Yes, I am afraid because there are those out there who want me dead because of something as intrinsic to me as my brown eyes, but, there are so many, like myself when I was younger, who are afraid of the effect that this intrinsic thing will have on those closest to them. Since I am so comfortable with my sexuality, my friends and I often make jokes along the lines of "Yeah if you ever go missing I'll just ask if people have seen the gayest person alive" to "I feel like if it were possible you would poop rainbows" to so many others. In this, I realized that there is no putting me back in that closet. Whenever I get scared, I reconcile my fear with the idea that there are so many out there who are scared to be who they are. While I would never push them to come out, I want to provide an example that, while being out, you can do kind of ok for yourself. I did not choose to love who I love, but I can choose to be proud about it. Seeing out, and proud individuals did, and continues to reassure me that it will be ok.

I am going to keep my comments about being a woman to a minimum, because, if not, it will be a thesis length tangent. My main reason for going to the march that is NOT my sexuality is the fact that too many people close to me, so close to me that they are a part of my heart, have been sexually assaulted/abused. The President's comments about women left me teeming with anger. I am not the only one who has people close to them that this happened to. In no universe is it ok for anyone's people to feel the way that those close to me have. I know I am not the only one that wants the nights I have spent holding crying friends until they fell asleep to end. They shouldn't have even had to happen to begin with.

I marched for those people who are a part of my heart. I marched for the countless women too scared to leave those relationships, let alone report what has happened to them. I marched for the victims of abuse across the gender spectrum. I marched for my fellow members of the LGBT community. I marched for the powerful women in my life. I marched for the numerous young girls out there, who need to know that they are not alone and that they are strong and powerful in their own way.


Cover Image Credit: Slate

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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