Five hundred thousand people in Washington, DC.
Two point five million people worldwide…
Different causes, reasons, mindsets, backgrounds, families, beliefs, genders, sexual orientations, skin colors, nationalities… different E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G, and yet, all the same…human beings, at the end of the day.
I woke up, ready; ready to raise my voice, ready to be part of a historic moment in life. But most importantly, ready to challenge every single idea, label, and mindset that my parents, my family, my environment, religion, and politics, had ever instilled in my mind.
I come from Monterrey, Nuevo León. One of the most conservative cities and states in México; sadly, pretty well known for its religious rooted views, machismo culture, double standards, and discrimination against vulnerable groups. As the first woman born in my family (after many years), of course there were several expectations held on me since the very moment of my conception. My name, my gender, my hair, my nails, my clothes, my behaviors, what’s right or wrong for a feminine lady, my love life, my future husband, my future children… all that, was part of a constructed idea of pink gender in my family; which was also reaffirmed by my sexist Mexican environment. How to be a woman was already dictated for me, even before I was born or had a name. I can still recall the face of my Mother when she’d dropped me off at school, as I was growing up, when I would only wear caps, blue jeans, sneakers, T-shirts, and a hoodie tied to my waist; while other girls worn skirts, long hair, lip gloss, and platforms. And, although, my mom gave me the confidence to be myself, later on, when I was 13 years old, she gave me a little book, called: “The femininity of a woman”. I would never blame her for that. Through the years, I understood that it must’ve been extremely challenging, and difficult for her, understanding that she did not have the regular-feminine-daughter. She had a gender challenging girl who was finding and figuring out her WHOLE identity, way too soon & fast. I understood my Mother, because she herself grew up and was raised in a harder, more dogmatic, more narrowed environment than I did, back in Monterrey. Therefore, machismo views were instilled in her mind, too; and her value as a woman, had been also dictated by sexist beliefs, where the machismo itself was internalized in her mindset. I cannot blame my mother, because, it is until now, that I understand that she was only trying to pass those behaviors to me, just because of the mere, raw fact… that I am a woman.
This past Saturday, January 21st. 2017, I remembered that. I stood there, thinking: How did I end up here? How did an androgynous, feminist, lesbian, Mexican woman, is located in Washington, DC, protesting in solidarity for American women’s rights? Then, it hit me.
“I am here because I matter as a woman. I am here because I matter as a lesbian, and I have the right to marry the woman of my life. I am here because I am god-damned proud Mexican. I am here because I’ve came a VERY LONG WAY, to be able to proclaim myself an empowered, feminist, woman. I am here because I am free. But at the top of all, I am here in the spirit of all those women in Mexico, who are being criminalized, demonized, called “Feminazis”, whores, who are being undervalued according to the opinion of a single man… I am here, because I am free”.
Living in Washington, D.C., means freedom; and, on Saturday, I used that freedom to fight for what’s right, in a country that I get to call home, for this year. In a country that has taught me an extremely, deep, valuable lesson: Freedom is for all… and so are the consequences.
As I was marching, I kept on chanting:
“My body, my choice”, “This is what democracy looks like”, “Build bridges, not walls”.
And I was completely blown away by the power, the energy, the organization, the mobilization, the heart, the passion, and the soul of every single person that was chanting with me. Would I have seen that had I been in Monterrey? Would I have seen MEN advocating for women’s rights or for pro-choice?
Moving on, here are some photos to show you, #WhyIMarch
Yes. I understand. I lived it in my country; and it makes me so happy to say that I joined you in the fight for a more democratic, fairer, freer, United States of America.
Exactly! What makes America great, are The Backstreet Boys, Ellen DeGeneres & Bagels
I marched because for people like them, my community, the LGBTIQA+ people are still being haunted, killed, tortured, demonized, bullied, criticized, and that’s wrong. I myself am a suicide attempt survivor (if that even makes sense), and I REFUSE to let any LGBTIQA+ person suffer at such extent, that they think their lives are worth ending or that God doesn’t love them or that they’re not valid because of who they are or choose to be. Besides, I do not belong in the kitchen; fun fact: I AM AN AWFUL COOK.
I marched, confident that my good #Mexas are spread all over the world, breaking stereotypes, challenging views, and proving people (and Presidents, may I add) that Mexicans are diverse, talented, global, change-makers, and LEADERS.
I marched for the right of ANY HUMAN BEING, to identify themselves AS THEY FREAKING WANT; for their right to identify as man, as women, as both or as neither one of them. I marched for our rights as HUMAN BEINGS, to identify as whatever we’d like to, without our genitals dictating our years to come.
I marched to say THANK YOU to my Mother. Thank you for understanding me. For letting me be. For giving me space to find myself, my identity, and the unique kind of woman I wanted to be. For overcoming the challenges of having: An androgynous lesbian, feminist, daughter. Most of all, for never telling me:
“You cannot study that!”; “It’s about time for you to get married”, “Stop defending for your gay causes”. My misunderstood, confused, insecure 9 years old self, appreciates it, Mom.
I marched because in our Life contract, it never says that we’re entitled to not being sexual beings; to not have multiple or different sexual partners; to be heterosexual; to become Mothers; to not have “one night stands”; or TO HAVE CHILDREN, JUST BECAUSE WE BIOLOGICALLY CAN. I marched for all those women who are still being criminalized for having an abortion, for not being able to choose over their bodies, for having being raped, and not having the baby. Because I strongly believe that, it is about time to stop restricting women from being sexual beings in their totality.
I marched for my right as a human being, to fall in love with another human being; which in my case, would go like this: I marched for my right of being a woman, in the TOTALITY of who I choose to be, and live; and my right to love another woman
I marched because Ellen DeGeneres, would be so proud of me if she knew me. For those who know me, that’s a huge deal for me.
I marched for a personal cause. I marched for all those women who were raped, touched without consent or forced to do things they didn’t want; and are still being blamed for it. I marched for all those little girls who are living this situation at home, and grow up feeling destroyed, broken or incomplete; who grow up feeling unworthy or guilty. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT; AND YOU’RE NOT ALONE.
Last, but definitely, not least…I marched for my two younger brothers. In the hope and spirit that, one day, they will not have to face and deal with the STUPID & RIDICULOUS “masculine- macho” Mexican culture, and mindset. In the hope that they can call themselves “feminists”, attend “women’s marches”, cry, be sensitive, and love whoever they want without restrained, and without being teased by their friends or being called “faggots” for supporting women.