By Maya Pockrose
The 45th United States Presidential Inauguration took place January 20, 2017. One day later, protesters flooded the streets of Washington, D.C. to participate in the Women’s March on Washington.
AHS sophomores Claire Kitzmiller and Lily Snyder DiCesare are among many students who attended women’s marches. AHS Junior Tyler Dyer attended the March, too – as well as Inauguration.
Dyer and his mother won two tickets to the Inauguration, hoping that Clinton or Sanders would take the win. However, the pair still opted to attend the Trump Inauguration because Dyer felt he “has as much right to be there as a Republican does” and acknowledges the historical nature of the event.
The experience was “interesting” for Dyer, who describes being somewhat “scared” at times. He wore an outfit displaying his dissent, a shirt with the (rather politically bold) phrase “I’m A Gay Russian,” featuring plenty of rainbow patterning, and a telltale pink hat. He received “plenty of looks” from others at the event, but nonetheless enjoyed the experience, noting that it was “empowering to be there”. Other than these looks, Dyer reports that he did not receive any negative reactions.
For Dyer, the experience reminded him that “things do change,” that “you shouldn’t be afraid,” and that “if you disagree with somebody, you have every right to speak” your mind.
Dyer also attended the Women’s March the next day. He was motivated to attend because “women’s rights are very important”.
His experience at the March was “way more positive than Inauguration”. The march, by contrast, had a vibe of togetherness and positivity, which Dyer described as “quite empowering,” noting that the sheer amount of people in attendance was “extraordinary”. He mentioned, also, that “cis people had…huge representation,” which “they have the right to,” while there was a lack of “trans inclusivity.” Overall, however, he notes that “there was a lot of LGBT acceptance.”
Claire Kitzmiller, sophomore, attended the Women’s March in D.C., as well. She, like Dyer, says she was hesitant to go at first, being “a little worried about what would happen” and prepared “in fear of pickpockets and violence” when she did decide to go. She decided to attend because she “started to see the effect Trump has had on so many people.” She says she “knew how important it was to go”.
The experience was “amazing” for Kitzmiller. As previously mentioned, Kitzmiller had prepared for the worst, but “got the opposite”. “If anyone even dropped something,” she recalls, “someone would pick it up for them.” The attendees were kind and all “came together for the same important cause.”
The march was a learning experience for Kitzmiller, as well. She says that “the only way to make a change is to forget our differences and petty problems and work together peacefully to fight for what we believe in”.
Lily Snyder DiCesare, also a sophomore, attended the march in D.C, also. She “felt motivated as a gay woman to defend [her] rights,” adding that “as a white person of privilege, [she] wanted to do what [she] could for those…less privileged” than herself. Snyder DiCesare “found the experience very empowering”.