I woke up on my 31st birthday this year and felt an overwhelming desire to speak out and act against the injustices that I perceived. Two days before my birthday, the Trump Administration issued an executive order that, in essence, banned citizens of predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, even those with valid visas. For the first time in my life, I called my representatives. For the first time in my life, I shared my political values on social media. For the first time in my life, I felt like I had a voice.
Since then, I’ve been reading as much as I can about the actions the Trump Administration and the Republican Congress are taking, speaking out when I can, and joining rallies, town halls, and Democratic events in the hopes that I can make a difference and stand with my peers.
The problem, though, is that I don’t see my peers. At least not at everything I’m going to. I went to the Women’s March, and saw my peers there. But then I went to a state legislature recap and I saw none. I also don’t see my peers when I look at those elected to represent me. What’s most disappointing is that even when there is a chance for someone to represent me that is closer to my peer than anyone else, she’s not selected because those voting are not my peers either.
The danger here is that I’m impatient. I woke up on January 29 wanting the world to be different, because I was different. I saw the world differently and knew that I needed to act to make it better, more inclusive, more open. But I can’t change the world overnight. Change takes time, and I must be patient. But I will not be silent anymore. I must remain present and show up to events. I must continue to educate myself. I must share my voice, in hopes that others will share theirs, and together, we can make a difference.
So, it’s time to wake up, once again, and recognize that I’m going to have to keep waking up every day and watching and acting when I see injustice and fear taking over my country and my world. I will no longer be silent.