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Existence Is Resistance!

It’s 6am and my husband and I are heading down south to Austin, to the state capitol where the 85th Texas Legislature is in session.

The very legislature that has already introduced SB6, the “Women’s Privacy and Protection” act, which is actually an anti-transgender “bathroom bill” and SB 242, requiring teachers to “out” their LGBT students to parents. The amount of anti-LGBT bills that are suspected to hit the floor are staggering. We are on our way to oppose these bills and show support for the transgender community in Texas. We do this not only for our kid but the many more out there who have families that do not accept them. We speak out for those who cannot, and do not feel safe.

“PARENTS, SPOUSES, CHILDREN, FRIENDS AND ALLIES OF ALL WOMEN, BOTH CISGENDER AND TRANSGENDER WOMEN AS WELL, SHOWED SUPPORT FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND EQUALITY.”

Last weekend was the Women’s March on Washington, which was created as a protest against the inauguration of Donald Trump. Women of color, and a man came together to produce the largest single demonstration in US history. An estimated 5 million people marched in solidarity for women’s rights in sister marches held across the globe. Parents, spouses, children, friends and allies of all women, both cisgender and transgender women as well, showed support for women’s rights and equality. I was not able to actually attend a sister march, but was working on the LGBT forefront and becoming a board member of GALA North Texas, a local LGBT advocacy and education alliance.

Facebook and the like have been a sea of posts in reference to the Women’s March since last Saturday. The most baffling of these posts to me were by women claiming this march was “not for, or about them,” and this just astounds me. We have a misogynist leader that thinks it is ok to victimize women vocally [in the least], a known womanizer and philanderer, and not a very nice person as seen in his treatment of Hillary Clinton in the presidential debates; and yet many women are still following him blindly? People often speak of privilege held by certain groups, and I have to say the white, middle class, middle-aged Christian females may be one of the most privileged groups I have encountered. To live in a world that makes you feel like you do not need to be in a march or need people marching for the basic rights and services women should have, well that is a place of privilege many will never know. To be able to afford birth control that is not provided by Planned Parenthood or to have access to insurance that covers the different birth control options available (or any at all) is not a luxury all women have in the US. I used Planned Parenthood at a previous time in my life, for birth control, and well-woman exams and was grateful they caught a pre-cancerous cell in a checkup. I was then able to get the proper treatment in a timely manner. I would not have known about this if it were not for the low cost care I was receiving. Across the states this is a similar story for many women without adequate health care coverage. Planned Parenthood does more than just abortion services and while I am not a proponent for abortion personally, women should have the choice that was federally granted in 1973 Roe v. Wade. While so many of us women in the US do have every right we feel we need, we must not let that change.

“ONCE OUR RIGHTS BECOME ‘OPTIONAL’ IN THE EYES OF THE GOVERNMENT, IT BECOMES EASIER TO CONTINUE TO STRIP THE REMAINING RIGHTS AWAY.”

Once our rights become “optional” in the eyes of the government, it becomes easier to continue to strip the remaining rights away. Women from across the world come to America to experience these rights freely, and this is just one of the many reasons this march was for, and about all woman. When we become complacent and allow the government to control our choices and rights, we are letting all the past human rights work of other women throughout the years be undone. I am not ok with that progress being lost. I guess this makes me a liberal feminist, and I am ok with that. Here’s to ourrights, and equality, because without those things, we are merely prisoners in our female bodies. Do not let your privilege blind you to the potentially dangerous removal of our basic rights by the current administration. Existence is Resistance!

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