Within social justice circles, the dilemma of “talking the talk” versus “walking the walk” is often brought up. I often find myself hosting this internal battle. I question if I am doing enough to be an ally and stand in solidarity with those most affected by the issues I am passionate about.
With this dilemma in the back of my mind, when legislation that would persecute transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals was proposed by President Trump, I jumped at the opportunity to join Rev. Jennifer at a Trans Liberation Rally this past October.
I was nervous prior to the rally because I had never attended a protest and was unsure what to expect. While my fear made me uneasy as the action began, I discovered an intense feeling of community and purpose while standing by the Art Museum with members from my Unitarian Universalist church and the Milwaukee community.
As I stood in front of honking cars, holding a sign reading “RESIST GENDER NORMS,” I felt my heart rate increase and my hands begin to shake. Then I turned to my right and saw Rev. Jennifer standing next to me and a line of protesters walking up the street. I suddenly realized I was not alone. I was surrounded by a diverse community of individuals all fighting for the same goal. This feeling was unlike anything I had ever experienced. This intense feeling of community that comes with participating in direct action and “walking the walk” is something I encourage you to seek out—it can be transformational and revitalizing in the sea of social issues that surrounds us.