For organized Dallas, disorganized DC is disconcerting



DAVID TAFFET  |  Senior Staff Writer

The Equality March for Unity and Pride is scheduled for June 11 in Washington, D.C., but information on the march is scarce.

A website recently went online with a list of cities participating with local events. Dallas is not among them, although Fort Worth, Austin and Texarkana are. And a Facebook page has little more information than the date of the event and a post from Key West that the largest Pride flag — one that stretches the full length of Duval Street from the Southernmost Point to Mallory Square — will lead the protest.

The Washington Blade, the D.C.-based LGBT newspaper, reported in April that a “diverse” group of leaders — mostly from D.C. and the northeast — has been named for event, and that organizers had applied for the necessary permits. However the newspaper at that time was still questioning whether the march would actually happen.

Since then, Dale Holdman, owner of Outlines on Cedar Springs Road, has begun organizing to get North Texans to attend the march. He has ordered T-shirts, and is urging North Texans participating in the march to meet at the Hilton Garden Inn Washington D.C. Downtown, 815 14th St. N.W., several blocks from the Mall.

Holdman said the shirts are available at his store, but he is encouraging people who attend to just be prideful.

“It should be a fun weekend,” he said, pointing out that Saturday, June 10, is the D.C. Pride celebration, so even if the march is small, the weekend should still be fun.

Capital Pride Festival takes place on Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. between 3rd and 7th streets ,near the Capitol. The D.C. Pride parade begins at Dupont Circle and travels to 14th and R Street N.W.

Those who can’t travel all the way to Washington, D.C., to march in June do have some closer options.

Austin is planning a local march to coincide with the national event. Sponsored by Austin Pride and Queer Rights ATX, the event is scheduled from noon-4 p.m. on June 11 at the Texas Capitol.

Fort Worth is also planning a march that day, from 11 a.m.-noon. Participants should meet at the Tarrant County Courthouse, 100 E. Weatherford St. in downtown Fort Worth.

Perhaps the most surprising Texas event is set in Texarkana and sponsored by Equality Texarkana. A Facebook event page says participants should meet at 12:30 p.m. at the corner of Laurel and Broad streets. That’s a few blocks across the Arkansas line. The march will end at the downtown Post Office, which straddles the state line, with a gathering and speeches.
Planners expect a three-hour march and rally.

Lawna Jocqui, mistress of events for the DFW Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, is planning to attend the march in Washington. She called it an opportunity to “come together to stand up, face-to-face with an administration.”

“The Women’s March in January had many goals and helped to be an icebreaker for other mass marches in our nation’s capital,” Jocqui said. “It really opened doors for the rest of us to follow behind them.”

He points out that Mike Pence was a vocal opponent of LGBT rights in Indiana when he was in office.

“If we choose not to march in D.C. or in the cities and state capitals, we’re saying that our history didn’t matter,” he said.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 19, 2017.