Monday, October 11, 2010

Today in LGBT History: National Equality March

On October 11th of last year, I had the privilege of marching with tens of thousands of LGBT people and our straight allies in the National Equality March. Together, we marched from McPherson Square, past the White House, to Capitol Hill in order to show our solidarity as a movement and our determination to acquire the rights enjoyed by straight people which have been denied to us. Speaking at the rally were such LGBT rights stars as Cleve Jones, Urvashi Vaid, Kate Clinton, Julian Bond, and pop sensation Lady GaGa.

It’s strange to think it has been an entire year since the march. Sometimes I wonder if we have made any real progress since then. Sometimes I wonder if the solidarity that was supposed to come out of this historical event ever actually materialized. Sometimes I wonder if Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was right, and we really did “only put pressure on the grass.”

But looking to the past will do us no good now. We need to instead look to present and future battles: repealing the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy; passing a fully-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act; making sure that immigration reform includes LGBT families with the Uniting American Familes Act; and repealing the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and allowing legally-married gay couples to receive the benefits straight married couples do.

So let us look back on the National Equality March with the knowledge that our work is far from over; let us feel the hope, inspiration, and determination we felt on that day, every day hereafter. We need to come together and work together, as one single unit, to achieve real change.

The following pictures are not the best to come out of the National Equality March, but they’re my pictures so I figured I would add them to the metaphorical LGBT scrapbook. Below are some of my favorites, with a slideshow of all of the photos I took at the end.  

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