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By Jennifer Snook @sirjid

On Monday, March 6, I became a certified rabble-rouser.

Along with several other people, I staged the Rally for Transgender Solidarity here at LPC.

It was a fairly rushed event. I went from learning about it, to giving a speech, in six days. As such, I expected there to be about 20 people — and I expected to know all of them.

On one hand, I was right. I knew about 20 people at the event. On the other hand, there were two or three times as many people there, and many that I didn’t know.

My speech was terrible. I fumbled through the write-up I had made, skipped about half of what I wanted to say and mumbled most of the rest.

On the whole, it was a terrifying and awkward experience, but I am very glad I did it.

It was the first time I had done anything remotely like it. I have never done any public speaking, nor have I announced to an audience that I am transgender (I don’t count this column, as it isn’t in person.)

It was the first time I had spoken to both a political representative and clergyman who supported me.

It was the first time I had seen firsthand a group of people taking time to show support for a cause they were not directly involved with. And even though none of this was specifically for me, it still meant a great deal to me that they were all there.

Beyond even that, though, it made me realize something.

Before that day, I wouldn’t have called myself an activist. I’m just an everyday person, who happens to write reasonably well and has an unusual personal story.

Now, I’m not under any delusions. My speech was nothing ground-breaking, and it didn’t reach anyone who didn’t already believe what I was saying. But maybe it inspired someone to talk more about the issues trans people face. Maybe it inspired someone to stand up for something they believe in. Maybe it was the first step for me making my own voice louder.

It’s important that we all talk about what we believe in.

We don’t all have to make speeches or hold protests or run for office. But by talking to each other, by promoting understanding and discussion, by merely spreading the ideas of acceptance, the world will become more accepting.

We all have a voice. Even alone, it can have a profound effect on others. But together, our voices can change the world. We just have to say something.

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