I won’t be silent. I won’t sit still. I won’t cross my legs and tuck my hem and sit up straight. I won’t go quietly into the good night. I will be heard. I will be seen. I will be respected. I will speak for the muted and walk for the wounded. I will pave the road for my daughter and my son – the road of decency, integrity, individuality, and kindness. I will not throw stones. I will not shut my pretty little mouth. I will not hide my love for another woman.
I will not tolerate intolerance. I will not make excuses for the inexcusable. I will not barter with the bully and I will not enable the inappropriate behaviors of others – friends and strangers alike.
This is not about red and blue. This is not about him and her. This is not about electing a president. This is about standing up. This is about being heard. This is about being seen. This is about equality and fairness and freedoms that cannot be compromised. This is about the dumbing down of our great country though reality TV and make believe courage that shamelessly dismantles individuals through barriers of social media. This is about a culture of rape and racism that runs so deep we fail to identify it when it destroys the innocent and then blames the victims. This is about the rest of our lives and the kind of world we want to live in.
I will not refuse to tell my truth. I will sing my song from the corner of every street – beat me black and blue and bloody red – take me by the hair and toss me around with your verbal assaults and towering innuendo. Roll over me with your volume and demean me with your intentions. I will not falter. I will not surrender. I will not be silenced. I have been fighting this fight my entire life. I will stand in front of the storm and I will weather the twisted words of those who would hurt me and take away the freedoms I have fought so hard for. I will not be forced from this road I travel by the tireless rally of delusional hate.
Here is where I have always stood. As a girl who wanted to play baseball in a time when girls were not allowed to play baseball. As a child who preferred jeans to dresses and was verbally assaulted and belittled at every turn for not conforming. As a young woman who rode a motorcycle and was subjected to cat calls and lewd comments, aggressive maneuvers and misogyny with every mile I rode. As the mother of a daughter whose intellect and creativity are often ignored in favor of her incredible beauty. As a woman who carried too much weight and suffered the unsolicited judgments and demeaning remarks of others. As a woman who loves another woman. As the wife of a woman who was victimized and forever changed by a monster of a man who raped and abused her as a child. This is my world. This is our reality. And I will not retreat into the corner. I will not be quiet.
My heart hurts. My mind is full and overflowing with the inability to decipher the depth of all this bigotry and hate. When lies become truth and truth becomes an illusion we are in real trouble. When the world is turned upside down with misogyny and screams of all the victims unheard we must make it right again. When an emotionally stunted, ignorant, foul mouthed TV personality is standing front and center dismantling our democracy with his skewed interpretation of reality it is time to dig deep and stand tall in the face of his dysfunction.
To those who would take my liberties and try to extinguish the light from my life I am unable to embrace your beliefs. You may be louder, you may be bigger, you may have endless resources at the tip of your tiny little hands – but I have a heart as big as this world – and I will not be moved. Love will trump hate and we will begin to rebuild what ignorance has worked so hard to disable. I have been fighting this fight my whole life and I am only getting started.
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About K. Guzman
Kathy grew up all over the US - lots of east coast time. She is a surfer girl with an unabridged curiosity. A woman whose mid life awakening continues to bring her to the place she was meant to be. Her degree in Journalism/Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida is being yanked from the archives and put to good use. Her two kids are grown and rock stars in this wild world – her Harley is ready for some serious summer miles – and her heart remains open to life, women and the possibilities each day brings.