Yesterday, Facebook reminded me that exactly three years ago I attended my first ever protest. It was the first time I took my feminism to the streets, the first time I demonstrated publically that I practice what I preach.
And it scared the shit out of me.
I was 19 and, objectively, fairly new to feminism. But when I was asked to attend a counter-protest to the March for Life, I accepted. I remember being jittery feeling the adrenaline days before we were supposed to go. And yet, despite it being 14 degrees and blizzarding, I trekked to the Supreme Court where I would join over 100 other counter-protesters.
Looking back, that protest was intense. We were outnumbered by a ridiculous scale (the March for Life that year boasted about 16,000 attendees (which was very small compared to other years due to the blizzard).
The early parts of our protest were inward focussed, before the actual march reached the Supreme Court. It felt like hell broke loose when they got closer. Anti-choicers flocked to us, screamed at us, and shoved us.
At this point, I entered the road with about three dozen other women and blocked the front of the March and subsequently almost got arrested for not vacating the road. If only I could see myself now!
That protest sparked something in me. It was exhilarating to channel my anger into a tangible, visible effort. Reminding anti-choicers that they will never, ever drown us out is a feeling I have been chasing since then. I have volunteered, protested, rallied, marched, been arrested, organized, and screamed my way to where I am now. And I owe it to this protest.
So here’s to many, many more years of activism.
And fun fact: the thumbnail photo on this page was used as the header image for this Marie Claire article, with my big-mouth screaming at anti-choicers!