Becoming a mother at 17 was scary to me. I thought that I would ruin my children’s lives before they ever had a chance. Following in the footsteps of my mother and determined to break a cycle. Just a teenager not knowing myself or even who I would be. I did not understand the responsibility that I was taking on, not for just one child, but six.
I had to strive to be better than I’d ever been and understand that mistakes would potentially put me and my children in a bad position. It was up to me, and only me, to ensure that my children had everything under the sun, no matter the curve balls thrown in my path.
On a sunny October 18th in San Francisco, a group of more than forty demonstrators gather near the Joseph Strauss statue off the Golden Gate Bridge. The attendee dress code has two requirements: the color black and face masks. Paper, cardboard, poster board and cork board house the words and messages these members showcase: “Thailand Democracy Now,” “Reform the Monarchy,” and “Free Speech is Not a Crime,” to mention a few.
The crowd groups together for photos to be taken of their efforts, and in between, a woman stands as the head of the group and reads her speech in Thai to the crowd. Demonstrators keep a hold of their signs or they keep up the three-finger salute with a free hand. Passersby would do a double take on any gathering of people, but today that was the goal.