Lividia Violette approaches her first ‘activersary’
"I’m coming up on one year of being active. My activersary is coming up in May," said Lividia Violette. And what a year it has been.
First Violette joined the online group Join the Impact. Then she started participating locally.
"QL was the first group I was active in," she said.
She protested in the Day of Decision rally after the Proposition 8 decision last May. Organizers were also planning the Million Gay March, which coincidentally occurred the day after the Rainbow Lounge raid.
Violette knew what her role would be. She said she brought a camera.
"I became the unofficial video girl," she said.
After the Rainbow Lounge raid and numerous trips to Fort Worth, she said she became more involved in another direct action group, Equality March Texas.
"I pow-wowed with Daniel [Cates] and Tish [McDaniel]. History is very important to me. They were talking about committees. I was taking pictures. Daniel was direct action. Tish was focused on organization" and focusing on the long-term planning for the group, she said.
Violette was interested in scrapbooking, videography, history and education, "so that people who join in see our beginnings."
In addition to direct action, she would like the group to be supportive of people just coming out and to embrace a variety of equality issues. A workshop series they are planning for this summer includes transgender, religious and immigration concerns.
The highlight of Violette’s first year as an activist was her trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the National Equality March.
"So massive," she said. "I’ve never seen so many LGBT people and allies in one spot. I walked with the biggest Pride flag I’ve ever seen."
The variety of activities, from the Human Right Campaign dinner with the president, which she said she did not attend, to the march and street protests, inspired her.
She has participated in several Oak Lawn vigils, including the recent memorial for LGBT victims of the Holocaust and the protest for victims of hate violence.
Now she is actively helping plan the next local Million Gay March, which she hopes is renamed Equality March this year. And she said they are discussing moving from Oak Lawn, where they were accused of preaching to the choir, and holding the event downtown or on Greenville Avenue — "Somewhere where it can be seen by the non-queer community," she said. "It’s not a Pride march for ourselves. It’s to reach out and to talk about issues and things that need to get done."
Last summer, Violette also became involved in the Creating Change host committee.
She said that what she took from Creating Change was that our community is not a melting pot, but a salad. She said that it takes a variety of ingredients to make a salad, but the tomato is still a tomato. She said we each bring our diverse identities to the LGBT community and that’s our strength.
At the conference she was a co-host of the bi hospitality suite. When Matt Goodman recently stepped down as president of the local BiNet chapter because of his time commitment to the national board, he asked Violette to lead DFWBiNet. Whether or not she decides to head that group, Violette said her first year active in the LGBT community was just the beginning.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 19, 2010.