On Monday afternoon, I marched from City Creek Park to the State capitol steps with 5,999ish of my fellow Utahns.
I had a toddler with me. I didn’t make a sign. And it was snowing. Of course it was snowing. When’s the last time it wasn’t snowing? Did that day ever exist? I don’t remember it.
I almost bailed. Because I had my kid with me and no sign and it was snowing. Also, I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I was afraid what people might say about me. A lot of people have been saying a lot of not great things about the men and women that have marched in the streets all across America.
But I didn’t bail. I showed up. And I marched up that damn hill with an umbrella stroller and stood outside the snowy capital until my daughter had had enough and we left. I did this knowing full well that I would see a whole bunch of condemnation on my newsfeed.
It was rough. But it felt so good. As we approached the capitol building and saw the masses swarming, my eyes swelled with tears. Thousands of peaceful protestors showed up on that snowy day and marched up that hill because they care. They care about access to healthcare and clean air and funding for education and equality. Everyone showed up for their own reasons. There was no one central message beyond “We want things to get better.”
Thousands of peaceful protestors showed up because that’s what democracy is. Showing up. Making a stand. Knowing that others are going to disagree. Strongly. Perhaps rudely. It’s rough. It’s scary.
Sure enough, later that day I saw a Facebook post that read, “I’m embarrassed to be from America where all these angry, bitter women are trying way too hard.” I’m sorry she’s embarrassed. But I’m not sorry that I’m trying. In fact I wish I had started trying way too hard way before now.