Why I Chose to Stand with Others

Why I Chose to Stand with Others

As soon as we walked out of the hotel’s conference room that was adjacent to the California State Capital, I was immediately intimidated. As someone who prides herself on not cowering to the opinions of others, this surprisingly stretched me. When we walked into the Capitol with black t-shirts on that said in white text “changed” on the front and “oncegay.com” on the back, there was no turning back. We stepped out as a unified team to voice our concerns. Thirty something people, many from California, but also from other states. All different stories and stages of life. All there to say our lives are not fraudulant. The Capitol was packed with protestors for various bills that would be voted on the following day. It was surreal walking into a government building and being met by many other groups, in their own custom t-shirts and signs, protesting all sorts of things. It was particularly intimidating when those in various groups turned their attentions off of gathering for their cause, and began to jeer at our group that was quietly walking up to the Senator’s offices. I can only liken what I experienced at that moment to the bullying I often endured as a kid. Like when I would be bullied as I played sports. When I would walk into the school gym only to be met by guys hurling insults at me about my weight as I walked by in my snug uniform. When I was there to be a part of a team but was assaulted by comments about my appearance. Childish ignorant hateful banter. That’s the best...