I’ve been ruminating about where to begin describing my experience of the Women’s March in LA. This happened to be the largest turnout of any city in the world showing solidarity for women’s rights, immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, and well, basically, human rights. I heard rousing speeches and performances from some truly inspiring women (Barbara Streisand, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Natalie Portman, Kerry Washington, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Laverne Cox, and Regina Spektor to name a few), but that’s not what I want to talk to you about.
Oddly enough, the most remarkable part of my day was the Metro ride to the March. Joined by my two woke-ass bitches (their words) Lana and Stefanie, we walked over to the Hollywood/Highland station and were so confused when we saw people coming out of the station in throngs. Were we too late? Were they turning people away? No, these were just the people who weren’t brave enough to navigate the masses of people packed into the Metro cars like sardines.
We only managed to get to the first landing before we encountered our first massive line. Managing to get down to the platform was a feat, but then when the first car came we had women yelling to us: “Go north four stops, then switch to the southern train!” We couldn’t even get on because there were so many people trying to get into the city. So, north we went.
We made it two stops before the train conductor announced the train’s final destination was Union Station, to thunderous applause. They were reversing the train because there were SO many of us literally no one else could get on! We were packed, crammed, and stuffed into every corner of the train, and you know what? There were smiles on Every. Single. Face. We were all so delighted to be in each other’s company we didn’t care! The mood was so uplifting and infectious we were sparking up conversations with strangers, asking where we were from, talking about our friends and family marching all over the country, sharing our signs, sharing our gratitude to one another. My heart was so full it was fit to burst.
As the stops inched by (I think the conductor was going slow for fear of people falling all over each other) my motion sickness began to settle in. Lana was also getting a bit green so she crouched down by everyone’s feet. Literally every person around us was asking if she was ok, did she need water, did she need more room? But she was happy as a clam breathing in the (surprisingly) cleaner air own by our feet, and after a few minutes popped back up, color returning to her face.
When she went down, my stomach was trying to force things up. I tapped on Lana’s head and told her I was going to have to get off at the next stop. I was so nauseous, and I feared puking on the train, but more accurately fearing the chain reaction that may set off a la Stand By Me (anyone? anyone?).
As soon as the words were out of my mouth I had one set of friends from the Inland Empire offering me water, and another couple of friends from Santa Barbara making room for me to come stand by the door with them. One of the women (I curse myself for not asking her name) was a nurse and was literally my savior that day.
She kept reassuring me there was more air by the door, while rubbing my back to help calm me down. There I was, shaking like a leaf, taking quick breaths, panicking that I was about to blow chunks over this lovely woman. And there she was the whole time saying: “Just lean into me. Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth; deep yoga breaths. We’re almost there, and you can get off, you’re doing great. You’re going to be ok, you got this.” With every sentence the tears in my eyes came closer and closer to spilling down my face. Not because I was embarrassed, not because I was scared of the potential puke, but from love. This woman was so wonderful to me. She and her friend were actively trying to get my mind off the fact that my stomach wasn’t cooperating, and they saved me.
What a way to begin one of the most inspiring days of my life! What a wonderful group of people to look out for complete strangers on a train, to genuinely care about our well being. Not only was it these lovely women whose praise I want to sing; it was all the women, men, gay, straight, trans, black, white, Hispanic, young and old people who turned out that beautiful Saturday to show Trump we can’t be silenced. That we won’t back down. We won’t give up on what we believe in. And most of all, we won’t throw our support his way because he has time and again displayed that he doesn’t care about the American people, he cares about money. Just look at who he is trying to appoint to office. Billionaires. Do you think billionaires know what the salt-of-the-earth American people need? Do you think they know what us “bleeding-heart” liberals need?
The Marchers know, we know you need to be heard.
So call your legislators, let them know what you need from your government. You are their bosses, now take that power back!
All it takes is #FiveMinutes.