Together We Rise! (video and transcript)

I was incredibly honored to be invited to speak at the 2018 Women’s March in Denton, TX. Here is the video and transcript of my remarks:

One year ago, I stood here in this space with you, not to tear down the things I hate, but to protect the things that I love.

I love America. And I love our constitution, which guarantees equal rights to all. And I love my kids, Max and Lulu. I love my daughter, who deserves leaders who value her not based on her age or her beauty, but based on her skills, her heart, and her determination. And I love my son Max, who turns 10 in a couple of weeks, is a black belt in taekwondo, and is also transgender.

Now, our constitution should protect both of my kids equally. But the sad truth is that over the past year, I have seen attempts to strip my son’s rights away. I have seen our representatives be perversely more concerned about what’s in his pants than what’s in his brain when he’s at school. I’ve seen tweets from the President, saying that transgender people will be banned from serving in the military. I’ve heard judicial nominees call trans kids just like my son, and I quote, “part of Satan’s plan.” And just this week, I saw a new department created under the Trump administration, that gives permission to doctors to withhold potentially life-saving medical care to my sweet boy, if they have a sincerely held religious belief. Just because he is transgender.

I’m here today to protect the things that I love. Our country, our Constitution, and our children.

I’m here today because my family has no choice. This has literally become life or death.

And I’m tired, y’all. Can I just admit for a second that I’m tired? But now is not the time to rest. Now is the time that we RISE UP TOGETHER, to lift each other up, to listen to the voices of the marginalized, and to remind the leaders of this country that TRANS LIVES MATTER. They thought they could pick on trans kids like my son, they thought that no one would notice if trans people just disappeared, but they underestimated this mamabear, and they underestimated the power of the people. Because TOGETHER WE RISE.

Because, you see, I have seen time this year how we the people have stood up to protect the things that we love, and have WON. Fresh off of last year’s women’s march, Trump announced a travel ban. Now, we were all tired from all the rallies just a week earlier, but what did we do? We dusted off our pussy hats, grabbed our protest signs, and filled every airport across the country, demanding the release of everyone detained. AND WE WON. We protected the ones we love. We fought for immigrants. Because TOGETHER WE RISE. 

I saw this past year, when elected officials in Washington DC tried stripping health insurance away from 30,000,000 Americans, we called, we emailed, we wrote postcards, we texted resistbot in the middle of the night, and we shut that down. WE WON. We protected the ones that we love: the poor, the sick, and the disabled. Why? Because TOGETHER WE RISE!

I saw personally this year, right here in Texas, how allies from every political stripe and every corner of the state, stood up to bullies in the Texas legislature and loudly proclaimed that Y’ALL MEANS ALL. Because when they tried to push through 30 anti-LGBTQ bills in 2017, we defeated 29 of those! They said it couldn’t be done, but WE DID IT. Not once, not twice, but *29* TIMES, just this year. We protected the ones that we love. We protected transgender, nonbinary, genderqueer, and gender nonconforming people. We protected kids like my son Max. Because we know that TOGETHER WE RISE! TOGETHER WE RISE! And if we can defeat discrimination here in Texas, we CAN and we WILL defeat it everywhere. Because TOGETHER WE RISE!

I’m asking you today to make a pledge to my family, and a promise to our democracy: promise me that you will VOTE. Vote in the primaries. Vote in the generals. Vote every single time there is anything on the ballot. They’re counting on you to stay home, but we’re all counting on you to VOTE. Better yet, run for office yourselves. Because take it from me, a one-time defeated city council candidate, even if you lose that race, you’ll end up exactly where you need to be, with a voice and a mission even stronger than before.

Promise me that you will keep fighting for the things you love. Promise me that you will vote. Because WE THE PEOPLE are stronger together, AND TOGETHER WE RISE! Let me hear from all you snowflakes out there! Many snowflakes make an avalanche! An avalanche is coming, it’s already here! And history and the ballot box will not be kind to those who try to stop this avalanche of change. WE THE PEOPLE are those snowflakes. WE THE PEOPLE are that avalanche. WE THE PEOPLE are the future. AND TOGETHER WE RISE!




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