On Saturday morning, the day after the inauguration, my friend had asked me to document the women’s march with her.  We gathered at her apartment early that morning to prepare for the day ahead.  She had made coffee and had a spread of pastries, fruit and hard boiled eggs.   More and more people showed up, new faces, old faces, familiar faces; we all had the same purpose.  We jumped in an art bus that had been painted all black and spoke of what it meant to march that day.  What a privilege it was to be able to walk freely and speak for those who could not be there. We were going to march for what we believed in.  We were standing up for ourselves collectively against oppression, against the scary thought that all our progress as a nation would be reverted to a time before any of us had any say.

As an immigrant and woman, it scares me to think that a visibly divided nation has been repressed and has propagated so much resentment to the unknown — to their neighbor.   We gather in communities of similar thought exchanging information and ideas, but are unable to connect with the rest of the country; perhaps we are in a progressive bubble living in California?  How could the other half of the country be so scared of people that live and breathe in the same space?   My purpose as a woman that day, as a human, was to stand up for what I believed in.  We marched for women, for immigrants, LGBTQ, Black lives, for our children and our future children…   It was awe inspiring to arrive in downtown later that morning to streets full of people with the same collective emotion.  We were driven by fear, hope, the need to speak out our dissent; but really, we were driven by joy. We were 750,000 people walking alongside each other in peace.

We embodied everything that this country represents in its beauty through diversity. Some unaware of the gravity of the future…  What I felt being there was pure joy witnessing all the creativity and effort that everyone expressed while being there in order to communicate to our new leader.  What affected me the most was seeing the children not understanding the gravity of what we were marching for, but just interpreting the energy that surrounded them as joy.  Their faces were proud and full of hope.   That is what I marched for. If necessary, I will march again to have my voice heard to protect our future. I will be there for our future generations.  We as a people have been ignited.  We will not be left on the side submissive and complacent while being stripped of everything that everyone before us has and is still fighting so hard for: Equality.