By Parrish Turner
I wrote this piece as part of Lisa Freedman's Breathe Write Meditate group immediately after leaving the protests outside of the Stonewall the day the of the executive order which related to the rights of transgender students access to school resources, including bathroom use.
This young girl was in the crowd and I couldn't get her image out of my mind.
She stood at the protest, all of ten years. Her face angular, wearing a purple jacket and clutching the sigh she had covered in many colors and layers of crayon. Her request was simple:
Please let me use the girl’s room
And I wanted to cry. I wanted to sweep her into my arms, a tight embrace, and whispers lies into her ear about how it was all going to be okay.
But the time for lies has past.
So she must stand her in the crowd, holding up her sign with her simple plea and making me want to cry.
Because I know her and I know a million more like her and I am her and I don’t know how to fight for the return of protections we hadn’t yet learned how to use. Hadn’t yet come to truly claim as our own.
But I do know that we are resilient and that we will fight back as the crowd will remind this child again and again.
We stand up and fight back.
And she will stand up and fight back but this time with thousands of voices changing behind her. She will know something that those that came before did not.
We will stand up and fight back.