Hardy reports from the National Equality March

Posted on 11 Oct 2009 at 4:35pm

Although this will have my name (Tammye Nash) at the end of it, it was written by Dallas Voice columnist Hardy Haberman, who is in Washington, D.C. for the National Equality March:

I arrived at the starting point of the Equality March with my partner Patrick about 10 a.m.  There were already several thousand people milling around.  Lots of vendors hawking gay Pride flags and stickers, and the ubiquitous Socialist Workers Party folks who tag along to every rally they can.

While milling about I heard a British accent and turned to come face to face with John Oliver from the Daily Show.  He was taping an interview for Monday’s show, so look for me in the background, I’ll be wearing a leather NLA-Dallas vest.

Aside from my brush with fame it shows that the media is taking us seriously.  The Daily Show is trusted by more Americans for news more than Fox or CNN.

There were lots of hard core activist organizations present including Faith in America, a group of religious leaders who believe that it’s time for religion to stop harming LGBT people.  Now that I can get behind!

After an hour or so, the leather folk began to appear.  Carrying leather Pride flags and some in full dress leather,  they looked great.  I am always proud to see how leatherfolk show up for activist causes. It was also nice eye candy!

The march finally started around 1 p.m. for our group, however it stepped off on time at noon, it’s just there were so many people it too that long for us to move. We marched chanting a variety of slogans including a special one as we passed the White House. “Obama, Obama let mommas marry mommas!”

I also saw a variety of really great signs including my favorite, “Jesus had two daddies.” Another on a less serious note read, “Single and Bitter, but I Still Want Marriage Equality.”

Damn we are a clever people!

We continued around the White House and onto Pennsylvania Ave towards the Capitol.  That is when the magnitude of the crowd hit me. All the way to the Capitol building, the street was filled. I looked back and the crowd seemed endless in the other direction.

When we finally reached the Capitol Lawn after marching for over an hour, Pennsylvania Avenue was still filled with LGBT marchers as far as the eye could see. The turnout was spectacular!

The lawn of the Capitol never looked as colorful as it did today.  Rainbow flags, T-shirts and other colorful clothing gave the area a festive feel, but the speakers made sure the true intent of the march was known.

As they have often said, this was not “organizing to march, but marching to organize.”

Texas was well represented. A large contingent from Austin and Dallas were present, as well as other parts of the Lone Star State.  My suggestion for the organizers would be to muster the groups by state to give a full impact to the nationwide effort the event was. Finding local folks was impossible in the crush of people.

After the rally and speakers, we dispersed into the city for well-needed rest and food. Patrick and I ate at a great little Salvadorian café with several dozen marchers. The food was wonderful and liquid refreshment was even better. I never knew a Diet Coke could be so refreshing.

It will take a while to process the events of the day and I am sure I will write more soon, but for now, getting my feet elevated seems like a liberating act!

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