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It is a fierce love,

that I see

when I look into her eyes.

I can feel the courage in her heart.

 

She speaks to me,

from a photograph.

 

I hear

 the unselfish determination,

 the driving force,

echoing 

 in the voices,

that tell her story.

 

The story of Zoraida “Ale” Reyes,

activist,

woman,

defender of the persecuted,

began with a declaration:

I am a woman.

 

I was not a witness to the depth of her personal struggle,

the complexity

 of becoming her true self,

the simplicity

 of wanting to be accepted

 for

 her soul’s identity,

but my heart understands her desire to be accepted

for who she was.

 

Acceptance,

Is a universal common need

that calls out from all human souls.

We all want to be known and loved

for our true heart.

Zoraida’s heart was the heart of many.

 

We see you now.

Brave and bold,

living,

 not satisfied

 with

just existing.

I embrace you as a sister.

 

Here is my heart

to tell your story.

I will not say rest in peace.

I choose to say,

 rest assured,

your work

will not

 be

abandoned.

 

 We will not forget

to protect

 the unprotected,

the undocumented,

forced to live in the shadows,

 trying to remain invisible,

while they work their lives away.

 

We will not

abandon

the fight,

 for equality and acceptance,

of transgender people.

The courageous,

who fled from their homelands

in search of safety,

of promised freedom,

only to find violence

 and neglect,

 here too.

 

The details of your murder

are not required

for your death to be an affront,

to the very words:

HUMAN DIGNATY.

 

Tonight,

I met you on a make shift altar,

at your candlelight vigil.

You stood there stoic,

while I searched for courage.

I found you, and lost you

muxerista, guerrillera,

inspiración a mi lucha,

all in the same moment.

 

We have lost a sister,

in the struggle to create a better existence

for

 all humankind.

 

You are a

proven warrior,

with battle scars,

and a giving heart.

You understood

the good fight

needed to unite

all

who walk with courage.

 

 You risked

your own

political body,

your freedom,

to fight for those,

in need

of

a strong soul

to lead with an honest

existence

and

powerful resistance.

 

Looking out at me

from a picture

where you

hold a

a protest sign

that reads:

“Not One More”,

you ask me

with those truthful

eyes,

“What will you do with your life to lessen the burden of hate on us all?”

 

I hope to answer you

one day

Zoraida,

with fierce love.  

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Comment by Emily Redondo on July 15, 2015 at 11:41am

Gave me the chills!  Love this line:

"Here is my heart to tell your story. I will not say rest in peace. I choose to say, rest assured, your work will not be abandoned."

Thanks for sharing!

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