Day Twenty Two: Katelyn Reimer (Portland, OR)
Hi friends, I’m Katelyn. I grew up in a small, sheltered town in the middle of Kansas. Just when I had gotten used to the routine of things, my family moved to Portland. I went from a predominantly singular culture to an epicenter from which cultures spring. I absolutely love Portland and the ingenuity that it cultivates, and I also love Kansas and the family values that it upholds. Neither one is wrong, neither one is right. And surprisingly, although they’re completely different spaces, both are economic powerhouses for human trafficking.
My experience with human trafficking and abuse is not with extent, but it is enough to make my blood boil at any whisper of such injustice. Harassment: the feeling when another person’s unwarranted look turns from kind to lacking self-control– this should not be normal. And yet, the other day at the grocery store, a man made me (ironically wearing a dress ‘a la Dressember’) feel completely disrespected with his glances. I hurried out of the store and into the safety of my locked car. I’m going to be honest- that man’s looks scared me as a 5’1″ woman.
And then it hit me. This. This is why Dressember matters. Because as fortunately as I could walk away from such attention, for many, that attention comes unwelcome in places closer to home and harder to avoid. Be it family members, significant others, co-workers– the list can go on. Dressember matters because it loudly shouts “this is not okay!” to a type of situation hidden in words of leverage and scared testimonies.
My message to you who experience this and feel chained by it: you are known and you are loved. You are the reason why my all-jeans closet now has a dress in it. You are the reason, because you matter. Your life matters. And sweet friend, I want to encourage you that there is hope at the end of the tunnel, but also IN the tunnel.
May we be the hope IN the tunnel for injustice. May each and every one of us greet the candid world with a firm bidding to respect one another. This is the start of something beautiful and restorative.
To donate to our team page to support IJM and A21, two organizations fighting against slavery and injustice everyday, please click here.