3 Tips for Escorting in the Snow

Family Planning protest w 50 foot Giant Virgin Mary
"I only had a 70 mm zoom lens when I shot this, so this is a little hard to see, but it looks like a giant Virgin Mary statue is being set up to glare across the street at the family planning clinic on 659 W Washington. By the looks of the police barricades, I'd say a bevy of protesters is going to greet any woman unlucky enough to have an appointment today. I'd go over and get a closer shot, but I'd probably get into a fist fight with the fundies. Birth control is apparently their next target, btw." By swanksalot.

Tomorrow my housemate and I will be escorting for Planned Parenthood of Western PA. This is my 4th year escorting there, and her first. It is dastardly cold in Pittsburgh right now, so for all the other escorts unblessed by the sun, here are three tips for escorting in the snow:

  1. Honor your feet. Thick socks, heater packs, water-proof shoes. Take care of your feet and they will take care of you.
  2. Don’t obscure your face. It may be 5 degrees and snowing, but your first responsibility is to make clients feel comfortable, and they can’t do that if you look like you’re about to rob a bank.
  3. Enjoy the quiet. Snow muffles all sounds, including the hollering/whispering/praying/nasty-talk of protesters. Winter protests are quieter than summer protests; this is a blessing.

As always, escorting is something not something I do because it is fun. I really would rather find myself in bed in 12 hours, rather than returning from a morning getting body-checked by aggressive literature-pushers. But I simply cannot countenance women in my neighborhood being publicly shamed, harassed, and taken political advantage of when I can put my body in the way of the abuse.

I escort while there are protesters. They’ll be there tomorrow. And so will I.

Inspirational Quote:

“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.”–Carl Reiner

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