International Women's Day: If I have a daughter

If I have a daughter

by Gabrielle Gorman
WriteGirl alum, freshman at UCLA
Written for International Women's Day 2017


Dear America,

If I have a daughter,

I will tell her that the dark-skinned girls with tight curls like we,

are no less than the rest, we are brown beauty queens.


That our gay and trans sisters are as worthy as we,

as human as her, as women as me.

That a true Christians fear God not those with hijabs.


If I have a daughter,

I will tell her that we're people.

We’re people living for the American Dream

and ICE agents have badges where their hearts should be.


That we're humans, living in this beautiful place

and "alien" is only relevant when referring to space.


If I have a daughter,

I will tell her that we, bronze, brown, beige, all beautiful,

behold a voice, a presence, a choice, a weapon.

I will not teach her to kneel down, stand down, chin down, eyes down.

I will teach her to suit up, speak up, chin up, rise up.


If I have a daughter,

I will tell her that her skirt is no sexual invitation.

Gender can’t dictate her goals or aspirations.

Her body is hers, not his definition.

The sky is the minimum,

and never the limit.


I will pledge allegiance to the United States flag

but be loyal to the majority of which we stand.

One nation, ununited, with liberty and justice for few privileged to it.


I will say don’t make America great again,

but make America great for once.

Reject walls that segregate nations,

and build bridges that unify people.

Because no human can be born unequal.


If I have a daughter,

if I have a son,

if I have a child who is both or none

I will will raise them to know there is no us and them, or them and us.

There is us and us and us and us.


Gabrielle performed "If I had a daughter" at an International Women's Day fundraiser, where the audience was mesmerized by Gabrielle's words and passion. Special thanks to Shelley Berger for hosting the fundraiser and supporting WriteGirl for 16 years!