Note: I am currently in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention. I attended an academic seminar last week and am doing a fieldwork placement during the convention. I am writing a daily journal to reflect on my experience and will post my entries here. Enjoy!
It was pouring rain outside when I walked to the Wells Fargo Center for the final time last Thursday. At the volunteer and security checkpoint tents, volunteers gave out clear plastic ponchos to us, as it was a long walk from the security tent to the Wells Fargo Center. The afternoon went by quickly and I checked people’s credentials on the club floor as I have been doing all week. Dolores Huerta, whom I met the night before, happened to be there! Before I knew she was around, she recognized me and made sure to say hello. I believe that was right after she gave her speech at the Democratic National Convention (DNC). As I was working on the club floor at that time, I was unable to see it in person or on television.
When it was nearly time for Hillary to speak, my supervisor who was responsible for security on our floor let me go, so I could watch Hillary’s speech. Since the firefighters were concerned about the number of people inside the stadium, I could not get inside and watch Hillary’s speech in person. Instead, I found a television in a hall right outside of the stadium and watched her speech there. It was still surreal, knowing that only one thin wall separated me from where all of it was happening!
Earlier that evening, I watched numerous prominent politicians, special guests, and staffers bring their little girls to watch Hillary accept the nomination. I am sure they wanted their daughters, granddaughters, and other special little girls in their lives to know that they are more than capable of becoming president one day. There were many more little girls than boys. For once, that night was for them. Many little girls whom I saw wore red, blue, and white patriotic outfits and donned either Hillary or some kind of female power shirt. They could not have looked more adorable.
I forgot to cover gender-neutral restrooms in one of my earlier posts. Both the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Wells Fargo Center had big gender-neutral public restrooms. The first one I went to in the Wells Fargo Center was right outside of the hall that leads people to the floor, so it was extremely busy and often used by delegates or other people who have access to the floor. Before this week, I do not think I have ever gone to a big, busy gender-neutral restroom that has at least eight stalls. At one point while washing my hands there, I was the only female in the public section of the restroom with five other men. It felt weird and I had to assure myself that I was not in the wrong restroom. It also felt funny putting on my lipstick in front of men! That is not a bad thing though. Gender-neutral restroom is simply a new concept and may take some time before it becomes the norm. I love how progressive Democrats are with this issue. I went to my first public gender-neutral restroom at the DNC, after all. I hope I will see more restrooms like this one in other places later.