Hi, I’m Meghan. Below is text I wrote the morning of Election Day, even though the outcome was not the way I wanted, I’m determined to uphold the values that motivated me in the first place.
This vote is for the women in my family tree who immigrated here before this country formed and, despite supporting a revolution, weren’t written into the outcome. I’m with her.
This vote is for the women in my family tree who lived on this land already before those other folks arrived and weren’t written into anything at all. I’m with her.
This vote is for my frontier great and great-grandmothers born in the first generations of female voters. I’m with her.
This vote is for my immigrant great-grandmother who left Ireland for a new country and raised nine American kids here. I’m with her.
This vote is for her daughter, my maternal grandmother, who was a staunch Kennedy Democrat married to a Republican and who encouraged political discourse amongst her kids. Who was boisterous and opinionated and who sadly succumbed to Alzheimer’s before I got to know her well. I’m with her.
This vote is for my paternal grandmother, Dorothy, who passed away last month. Who, though not overly political, was always involved in her community and whose kindness permeated all of her actions. Who last year, when discussing a certain candidate’s remarks regarding rounding up Muslims, reflected on her peers who were forced into Japanese internment camps – “That was terrible. That just wasn’t right.” I’m with her.
This vote is for my mom, Lori, who always took me to the polls with her and raised me to be a loud feminist. My mom who spent her career teaching and advocating for kids with special needs. My mom who gave me her maiden name as my middle name, since she had to compromise and change it for her husband’s career. My mom, whose dad held her back from pursuing her dreams of music conservatory, who told me I could be or do whatever I wanted when I grew up. Who herself is fearful, but allowed me (well, maybe with some head butting) to be fearless. I’m with her.
This vote is for my new sister, Nathalie, who should always feel free to embrace her queer identity and never be discriminated against due to her depression. Who is kind and wonderful and who I’m so proud of for posting about hard topics. She’s a great addition to our lineage. I’m with her.
This vote is for myself. It’s for the child me who ran around in the woods playing ninja turtles and always having to be April; who was called “bossy” from a very young age. It’s for the teenage me who was cornered by a creepy customer at the video store; who had her hair stroked on an airplane; who had to go to a friend’s mom for the morning after pill because I couldn’t get it a pharmacy (or without my parents knowing). It’s for college me who discovered Planned Parenthood after Catholic healthcare misdiagnosed a UTI; who was embarrassed to officially cobble together a women’s studies minor; who became a statistic barely six weeks before graduation. It’s for twentysomething me who paid more for health insurance than her male peers while getting paid less than them; who broke it off with someone who truly loved her because she feared never reaching her full potential; who saw friends win and lose battles with heroin, not because of “bad hombres,” but because of a broken system; who became active in her community and politics; who embraced traveling to learn from people different from herself. It’s for thirtysomething me who pursued her dreams and moved to San Francisco, and got reinvolved with community and local politics; who embraced having a “Year of Never” and challenged her own judgments and beliefs; who cried with friends through their miscarriages; who cried with friends who lost their families to gun violence, targeted because of their Sikh faith; who had her pussy grabbed by a stranger on the street and put up with an overly touchy former co-worker because she didn’t want to rock the boat; who celebrated with friends and family who were at long last allowed to marry the person they loved and serve the country they loved, no matter who they were; who worked hard and found a place in an amazing industry where she’s allowed to be the Nasty Woman she’s developed into. It’s for future me and whatever challenges and opportunities come her way. I’m with her.
This vote is for my future daughter, if I happen to have her. May her negatives be ungendered and just due to the daily struggles of life. May her positives be infinitely more than those of the women who came before her. I’m with her.