"I got married and moved to Houston for my husband's job. Little did I know that he was married to someone else. When I found out, I left him and his other wife found me and we shared stories with each other. Even though it didn't work out with him he forced me to grow-me-up and give me, the self love and security of being a trans woman that I needed to become self sufficient. Trying to live the perfect homemaker life led to a betrayal which then led to something beautiful." - Diamond Stylz is a blogger and produces the podcast Marsha'sPlate.
The threat to the hard won civil rights of the LGBT community reminded me of these brave individuals I met during the weekend of the Women's March on Washington. Zosia Zaks, age 47 lives in Maryland and is marching in DC
"One side of my family survived the Holocaust. This is the same slide into fascism. I don't understand Jews who aren't upset. After the election, I called neighbors to come to my house and I said this isn't about Democratic versus Republican anymore, it's about survival. In just a few weeks, we chartered 3 buses, built a website and a list-serve, created a 6-person Medical Team, recruited 6 bus captains and 2 follow cars, held 2 community orientations, and we are ready to roll. I'm going because I am a trans man with a disability. I'm going for my 2 daughters. I'm going for my girlfriend who is African-American and Native-American and hearing impaired. I'm going for all the autistic adults I work with at Towson University. I must be at the march on January 21. It's about saying you do not tolerate what is happening."
Ruby Zaks, age 12 lives in Maryland and will be marching in a local area march.
"I'm marching for our rights and because I think Trump's policies aren't fair."
Dr. Harriette Wimms lives in Maryland is not able to march.
“I am supporting the March virtually but cannot attend in person. From hearing impairment to orthopedic issues and anxiety, accommodations that could make my presence at the march just aren't available. I represent all of the other people with disabilities, hidden or apparent, who can't march but who are part of this movement.
But there's another, even more important reason why I am not marching today. My generational history holds the memories of the civil rights movements past--and the crimes against peaceful protesters. I am palpably aware of how vulnerable marchers may be, at the hands of hate groups. From pepper spray to fire hoses.
And I decided to stay home to keep our children safe from groups that might attack those asking for justice at the women's march.”
"I had a son that I gave up for adoption when I was 22 years old. It was the biggest heartbreak of my life, but now we are in touch and he has a child and get to sneak peaks at my grandchild. I have four more children who I have raised - three daughters and one son. Motherhood has really been the most empowering thing in my life. My youngest child, my son, is transgender and wants to be called Hazel. So I guess I really have four daughters." - Cara Valente Compton is a Truman Scholar and she attended the Truman Foundation's 40th Anniversary Party at Gracie Mansion earlier this month.
"When I was a sex worker, I was outed by Governor Chris Christie and the NJ District Attorney. They accused me of being a Madam and published a map to my home. It was terrifying - but because of that experience I am a formerly incarcerated sex worker and a role model and spokesperson for not just the Trans community but for all women." - Ceyenne Doroshow is the author of "Cooking in Heels" which she published with the help of the Red Umbrella Project.