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Those Who Accompany Me

I stand with my sisters. I look to my left, and I see Dinah who has a knowing look in her eyes. She understands better than anyone what happens when your trauma is transformed into the story of a man’s battle. I look to my right, and I see Bilhah and Zilpah holding onto one another.

They know what it means for your body to be used as a paving stone in someone else’s journey. Behind me stand my brothers. I catch sight of Isaac the silent. He carries with him the grief of having been betrayed by the ones who are supposed to protect you. Next to him is Joseph who still weeps whenever he sees colorful cloth because it reminds him of the moment when his youth and innocence were stolen from him. Beyond our little group are the damp eyes and the broken hearts of thousands, millions, more. Today and every day, I stand with my sisters, my brothers, my siblings of all genders. Some of us know the pain of being hurt in the most intimate ways.

All of us love people who know that kind of pain.

None of us wants anyone else to have to experience it. Today and every day, we stand together, clutching the broken pieces of our hearts and trying to move our massive group just a little bit closer toward that goal. We’re so hungry for progress that every step forward feels like a celebration, and every slip backward brings feelings of devastation.

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