May 4, 2017; “National Day of Prayer”

National Day of Prayer. Trump signed a religious executive order–This opens the door for more discrimination against LGBTQ folk. Also, the House passed a bill to repeal Obamacare.

“wtf?!” I ask myself.

I was in DC for work. when I heard of the news of what was going on in congress, I was eager to get out of training to go protest. I was positive there would be others there. as I approached the white house, I began to look around. I noticed there were not any other protestors there. nervously, I pulled my signs out of my backpack. I knew I had to do what I had came there to do. I stood next to the gate in front of the white house white tourists, classes on field trips, businessmen,…. walked by. I saw people pointing. I heard people saying mean things. I saw group of teenagers wearing “make america great again” t-shirts. I was close to tears. I felt so ostracized. but I kept reminding myself why I was standing there. I was standing there for my niece and her future. I was standing there for my sister. I was standing there for my community. undocumented people. for women. for LGBTQ folk. for people facing an illness. for america’s youth. for my brown friends. for my wife and i’s rights. this gave me the courage and the power to continue to stand. the remarks continued. thirty or so minutes passed, when two teenage girls approached me and asked for a picture with me. I told them not to give up and to be proud to be them. slowly, people started thanking me. suddenly a few others started to join me. I had the pleasure of meeting many people–a gender activist from Nigeria, a family from india, a family from spain,…. just to name a few.  people from all over the world wanted to hold the signs I had made.

as people started to leave, I decided to head out too. I was elated. I sat on a bench and called my wife, excited to share my afternoon with her. I was in my zone–social activism at the white house!

as I was ending my conversation, I looked over and saw rainbow flags. I ventured over to find a local non-profit was holding a protest in support of LGBTQ folk. “is this real?!” a dream come true. I joined in, listening to the speakers, dancing, and sign holding. love filled the air!

it is imperative we come together as family, friends, and community offering support and love. be heard. be seen. be real. I feel scared for America. but we are all in this together. encourage people to call their local representatives. offer kindness to everyone you come in contact with. speak up. be you–regardless of what other people think.

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