It’s Never Too Late to Step Up

Written by: Daphne Daulton (They/She)

My name is Daphne and this is my story. In the tsunami that was 2020, I developed a different perspective on the world. Growing into an adult, I had recognized at this point that my education was skewed, my retail career path was not what I was promised, and the American dream was not quite what I originally once thought. The values that indoctrinated my soul were not aligned with who I am. The international pandemic showed me the hidden true colors of the machine. However, learning online was not enough for me. I needed to be out in the field, doing my part. 

When Roe v Wade was overturned, I became interested in rallies and collective action. With my newfound knowledge in a search for purpose I found Lancaster Stands Up. The members and staff of Lancaster Stands Up invited me with open arms. It started with anxiously calling legislators as part of the call crew. Every week we called senators and representatives to make our voice heard. It took dedication but ignited a passion. With the help of fellow organizers, I developed my values, skills and confidence to speak out publicly and interact on a more personal level. 

My first public speaking event was the rally for the Fairness Act. The solidarity we shared is something I will never forget. We made lots of new friends that day! I had already developed a love for organizing, but once I started discovering my true authentic self and identity, I knew I had to fight even harder, not just for my rights, but for all trans people. It’s one thing to advocate for human rights that don’t always directly affect me, but now it is deeply personal. I will not sit back and allow a negligent government to destroy the lives of my loved ones and myself. I do not do this out of fear. I do this out of compassion. Still hitting the phones, I have now extended my volunteering to the membership and leadership team where we water and sow the roots. I am honored every single day to be a part of this movement.

Through grassroots organizing I have gained purpose and the ability to hope. Hope that when I am old and gray we can look back together and be proud of the lives we saved. Hope is a dangerous thing; but not because of a patriarchal self-fulfilling prophecy. It gives me the drive to affect positive change in my community in a society that often feels hopeless to remedy. When we hope, the system loses. It’s time for the century of altruism.