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We will not be SILENCED!

On Friday, March 26, I had the tremendous opportunity of speaking at a March for our Lives rally in Orlando to Protect the Protest.

For those who may not know, the Florida House of Representatives past a piece of censorship legislation that will suppress that rights of Floridians to protest. Florida legislators are more concerned with fighting to protect the right to bear arms; 7 mass shootings in 7 days and they want to protect 2nd amendment rights but silence victims and survivors that want to peacefully protest.

For my part, it was important to represent the voice of the most marginalized veteran and include it with those of the communities fighting to stop HB1. It's time that Florida recognize the existence of the brown, black, indigenous, queer, trans, immigrant, woman of color veteran the is often abused, ignored, broken, and murdered. I am done being tokenized and exploited for political gain. No longer will some corrupt, self interested, sell out representative speak for me like I'm not in the room; I'm f*cking here and I will speak for me.

What's important to note about the Friday rally is that many, many powerful voices came together and represented a voice that Ron DeSantis and his cronies are trying to silence. The words of Amp the Truth, Sana Hafeez, and Maxwell Frost were only a taste of what is to come to shake up the city of Orlando and Florida as a whole. The truth tellers are the ones that ignite the much needed action for change. We are the leaders that we have been waining for, the voices of the present and future.

I am hopeful of what the future holds for the state of Florida. I refuse to lose it to racist, misogynist, homophobic, islamophobic, white supremacists trying to run our state. If not us, then who?

Watch the full rally on the March for our Lives Facebook page.

Cover Photo Credit: Jonathan De Camps

Other featured photos:

Andrea Vílchez

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