Why I'm Marching Now
Updated: Feb 17
Written by Lisa Traugott, Co-Chair of Women's March ATX
Where were you on the day of the Women’s March? It’s going to be one of those snapshot-in-time questions like, “Where were you on 9/11?” I’m almost ashamed to admit where I was…
Crying on a treadmill. I won’t rehash the 2016 election but I will tell you how I felt: Alone.
I heard that there was going to be a Women’s March but didn’t know anyone who was going. Half my relatives would have thought I was crazy, I was afraid of being attacked by trolls if I posted how I really felt, and figured no one in Texas would show up. Not in Texas. Anyway, what could one person do? So I said nothing and went to the gym. And the tears streamed down my face as I marched on the very safe treadmill.
I felt small. Invisible.
In that darkest moment of fear and shame, something wonderful happened. Pictures of the Women’s March started entering my newsfeed. Were you there?! Did you see the pictures?! Millions of people across the globe and 100,000 right here in Texas stood up and made their voices heard. They were wearing pink hats and holding signs and shouting at the top of their lungs that women would not be ignored. Not anymore.
Suddenly I didn’t feel so alone. Seeing women of all ages, colors and creeds, marching together bravely, suddenly made me feel a little braver too.
Do you remember being a kid reading in history class about the civil rights movement? Did you ever ask yourself, “What would I do if I lived in those turbulent times? Would I get involved? Or stay safely silent?” Those turbulent times are now. The day after the Women’s March I decided it was time for me to speak up.
I went to a digital organizing class and met Melissa Fierro, who organized the original march in Texas (and has since moved out of state). She asked me to write for the Facebook page, which I’ve been doing ever since. We have over 17,000 followers now. But being an everyday activist didn’t stop there. The Women’s March, to borrow a lyric from Hamilton, wasn’t a moment; it’s a movement. I’ve called my Congressmen, been to rallies against Nazis (!?!), town halls and get-out-the-vote drives. The Women’s March empowered me to stand up and fight for issues I care about. It’s why I’m marching now.
I’m marching because I don’t believe my family should go bankrupt because some of us have preexisting conditions. I’m marching because while I acknowledge that immigration is a very complicated issue, separating children from their families, putting them in cages and not providing them with enough clean diapers is simply wrong. I’m marching because my kids are doing active shooter drills instead of math drills and nothing in Congress ever changes. I’m marching because I realized that being silent and thinking politicians will take care of it is no longer a viable option and I need to set an example for my kids that if you were scared and cried yesterday, you can wipe those tears and be brave today.
I never thought I’d become an activist, and in a twist of fate that led me full circle, I’m honored to be co-chair of the Women’s March in Texas 2020. This time I’ll be marching with my kids and husband towards the steps of the Capitol Building. There’s something empowering about standing up for yourself and others.
If you went to the original march, thank you. Just you showing up made a difference in my life and in the lives of countless others. I hope you will march with us this time too.
For more information, or to donate or volunteer, please go to www.womensmarchatx.org