On Saturday, January 21, 2017 I joined approximately 6 million women, men, and children globally by participating in the Toronto Women’s March. It was my first protest. Like many participants I marched for many reasons. I marched because I wanted to walk in solidarity with my sisters south of the border who now live with a leader who is openly misogynistic. I marched because I wanted to express my disapproval of a leader who believes that lies, hate, xenophobia, and intolerance are an acceptable pathway to economic prosperity. I marched to show solidarity with my LGBTQ friends and express my disapproval of a leader who is openly homophobic. I marched because I wanted express alliance with my hijab-wearing sisters who now live in fear because we have a world leader who has normalized hate and Islamophobia. I marched because I wanted to express my absolute revulsion at a leader who openly brags about assaulting women and seems to treat women as little more than decorative objects.
But mostly I marched for my son. My son has cerebral palsy and the United States just elected a leader who openly mocked a reporter with a disability, because of his disability. This is not okay. It will never, ever be okay. I will not accept a world that sees people with disabilities as less than valuable citizens worthy of respect and full inclusion. My son deserves respect and as long as I breathe I will not accept such disrespectful behavior from anybody regardless of his or her position or power. I most certainly do not accept such behaviour from a world leader.
I have always been someone who has held strong beliefs about a broad range of environmental, political, human rights, and social justice issues. Thank you Mr. Trump for reminding me that simply believing something is not enough. Sometimes we need to act and we need to speak. I will not remain silent in a world that tolerates such behaviour and belief.