I might be considered a feminist, but I have never applied that term to myself. It's something that I've never quite understood because I've always considered myself a human being first, before any other label. Not woman, not white, not disabled. Just Breda - who was born in a body not of her own choosing. Just like everyone else.
That someone could be, or should be, treated differently because of something like their gender has never made sense to me. Like trying to pound a square peg into a round hole, the idea simply will not fit in my brain. Oh, I understand that there are natural limits to my abilities. For instance, I don't have great upper body strength, have trouble writing my name in the snow, will probably never take up jogging, and can't reach the top shelf without a step stool. But aside from physical limitations that are beyond my control, the fact that I am a woman should have no bearing on what I can, or at least on what I attempt, to do.
Learning to shoot has made me stronger and more sure. I have said, more than once, that in this past year of my life I have become more fully myself. It's a process that has become a passion. I pack up my gear, head to the range and in the solitude of my lane, pick up my pistol and transcend all barriers of gender, age, race and disability. I have seen so much diversity at the range, so much openness and camaraderie among those that would probably never even exchange a hello in any other situation. Guns really are terrific equalizers. They make us realize that we are all just people - fingers on triggers, a breath between silence and noise.