For Those Who Don’t Have the Same Privileges and Opportunities That I Do

For my English Language Learner (ELL) students and my friends’ spouses who weren’t born in America. They should know they are welcome here and we love them.

For my DREAMer friends who are well-educated, hard-working people, not the rapists and murders the president makes them out to be.

For my LBTQ+ friends and family, who finally received the right to marry but could see their rights taken away or limited.

For victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, because you matter. It’s not a joke no matter what the president says or tweets.

For my nephew on the autism spectrum and all those with developmental or physical disabilities – no one should make you feel less than you are, especially the president.

For access to women’s preventive screenings, because at 25 I had a high risk of cervical cancer and had to have cervix cells removed to protect my future.

For a choice on when or if I have children. This has allowed me to earn a four-year degree, pay off my student loans, build a career, travel the world, enjoy time with my spouse, save for retirement, buy a house, and volunteer my time and talents in excess.

For access to affordable healthcare. I, and many others, will spend 30 years of our lives managing our reproductive healthcare, so access is crucial.

For all the women (and men) who don’t have the same privileges and opportunities that I do. You matter, I think of you often and I will fight for you.

I Marched So My Granddaughters Don’t Have To

I grew up in an era that discouraged young women from believing they could do anything. A boss once told me that even though I was doing a great job, I wouldn’t get a very big raise. He said he knew my husband had just gotten a big promotion, and they needed to save the bigger raises for the men who were heads of households. We’ve come a long way, but women still make only 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. I’ve been an independent voter and have voted for both Republicans and Democrats. But I fear the new administration does not respect women (remember the Bill Bush tape). I have two young granddaughters. I don’t want them to have to march for equal rights. That’s one reason I marched. I hope the elected officials who represent me will have the guts to stand up for women and others who are marginalized.

My granddaughters and my grandson are the children of an immigrant. My son-in-law (as a child) and his family fled Nicaragua to escape the communist reign of the Sandinistas. They are model citizens of the United States now. My son-in-law is a science teacher. One of his sisters is a translator for the FBI. Like Ronald Reagan, they believed that the Statue of Liberty really meant the U.S. would be a refuge for people like themselves. Last night, the president signed an executive order that puts a huge dent in that belief.

That’s why I marched. And that’s why I weep.