I don’t go to a lot of rallies. I once read an interview with Alison Bechdel wherein she confessed that her Dykes To Watch Out For characters are way more activist than she is. I can’t tell you how much that comforted me. Rallies, no matter how worthy the cause, always make me remember school spirit pep rallies. What do I want? Not to chant! When do I want it? Now!
But sometimes it’s what needs to be done.
Standing there in that crowd, I remembered the very first march and rally I attended. It was my senior year of high school. I’d made friends with a girl named Marcia, who was in the Spanish class I was taking at the U of M.
Marcia told me about Take Back The Night. I asked my parents if I could go, and they said yes. I marched, chanted, stared, smelled what I would learn was a typical mix of patchouli and sweat.
I remember there was a dance afterwards. I was too shy to go.
But I also remember how proud and glad I was, and how I suddenly understood the power of being part of a crowd that shared my beliefs about something. Of being visible and being heard.
Tonight I was that proud, and that glad, again.