The Power in Voting

By: Sylvie Griffiths, MBA

Politics have previously made me feel powerless. Don’t get me wrong; I always vote. I am definitely one of those people who think you relinquish your right to complain about things if you do not vote. My grandmother, a sassy 99-year old, understands the privilege of voting. She was alive when women were not allowed to vote.

Gender was something until my son came out as transgender at the age of six and a half, I honestly did not think about. When I was pregnant with him, I felt I was having a boy, but my doctor told me another daughter would join our big family. I even dreamed, repeatedly, that my “daughter” would wear her hair short and need glasses. Everything in my dream came true except gender.

The current President-elect is trying to pass into the legislature, that gender is only defined by your biological sex. The government, in my country, is trying to take away protections previously protected by federal civil rights law. I feel so many emotions, but mostly am afraid and angry. The fear and anger come from the knowledge that some in the world hate my son because of who he is. And now the law might cease to acknowledge and protect the baby of our family.

It has been hard for me to channel this anxiety, anger, and fear into something positive. I avoid the news since the announcement was made regarding biological gender. I wonder how many people agree with this decision? I exercise, I try to take baths and quiet walks, and I am trying to eat healthier. It is all right for my self-care, but it doesn’t ever get rid of my thoughts of Jake and his future.

I know that there is a lot for people to understand regarding those individuals who identify as transgender. But, think for a moment of something that you feel passionately about yourself. Breast cancer. Black Lives Matter. Individuals who are disabled. Every one of us has something that we defend our last breaths. Imagine if that thing that you so fiercely want to protect was completely devalued and disregarded and put in danger?

I got up and exercised today. I avoided carbs at breakfast and lunch. And I voted at my local public library. I felt more robust and purposeful casting this year’s midterm votes. I am actually considering assisting with a campaign in two years during the next presidential election. I am now paying more attention to politics. I am going to find a way to support people who will help my Jake. Like any parent would.


About Sylvie Griffiths:

Sylvie is a happily married mother of four who enjoys writing, people and chocolate.

She is an Evaluation Associate and has a Master’s in Business Administration from Springfield College. She holds more than ten years of experience in performance assessment and behavioral health services.