And Now, We Make a Change

By Katelyn McLane (Age 17, Dallas, TX)

I shed more tears than I have in a long time on the night of the election and the day after. I’m lucky enough to go to a school where the grand majority of students and teachers understood my pain and fear and made sure that I knew my feelings were valid. 

My feelings are valid. I am not just “an emotional teenager.” I have not been “closed off from other viewpoints” because of the liberal school I attend. I am not “overreacting” because I “don’t have enough real-life experience to understand the other side.” Admittedly, I haven’t felt oppressed or underprivileged in the seventeen years I have been on this earth. I have, however, educated myself on the inequalities, discriminations, and prejudices that occur all around me. I’ve been told that I’m good at math because I’m half Chinese. I’ve stood to the side as “strong boys” were asked to help move tables around the classroom. As insignificant as these events seem, the other events like them pile up on each other to build a culture that subconsciously assigns roles to specific genders, races, etc. This is the culture that Trump has fed off of and amplified to a dangerous level. This is the culture that we must put an end to. 

I have never been one to speak up when I disagreed with the majority opinion or confront people who say things that might be offensive. But I will now. It is my responsibility to open the minds of people who don’t understand the danger we face in the next four years. It is my responsibility to make sure that social change happens before any more people get hurt. I will fight, but I will fight with love. As an actor, I will fight with my art. I will commit myself to convincing people that equality, acceptance, respect, and love are the four most important things in the world. 

I hope you will join me.