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I attended the National Equality March for gay rights October 12, 2009

Posted by truthspew in Gay rights, government, marriage equality, politics.
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We left Saturday evening around midnight. We were supposed to leave at 11PM but the one of the drivers had twisted his ankle.

It’s a good thing too. We had about 34 people a the Stop & Shop on Branch Ave rally spot, and we picked up another 20 students from Brown University. So we managed to fill a bus, in fact we actually had to turn a few people away.

On the ride down I think the only one who got any sleep was my friend Rich. Otherwise I was either listening to my iPod (Which needs a little surgery, the earphone jack is messed up.) or talking or trying to sleep but I was far too excited to sleep. Very early in the morning I did hear someone explaining quantum physics and the Standard Model to Luther but I’m not sure who it was, probably one of the Brown students.

Other people that I knew on the bus were both Brians (Brian C. and Brian R.), Josh, James, Shaun, Paul H. and Paul L, and Brandon and probably some whose names escape me at the moment since one of the effects of sleep deprivation is loss of cognitive function.

We got in to Washington, D.C. at 7:30AM and the first order of business was breakfast and yes, coffee. I needed the caffeine blast. Supplemented it with Coca Cola later on at lunch.

We went to this little Burger King since it was the only thing that was a) not a Starbucks and b) We couldn’t find a basic mom and pop shop in D.C. that served breakfast. So Burger King it was. I had a sausage croissant with something that might pass for home fries but turned out to be hard little pucks of potato .The second floor of the place was straight out of the 1970’s:

Burger King in DC

Burger King in DC

Don’t worry – you’re not seeing things. I guess the caffeine had kicked in when I snapped the above frame.

After BK we ran into the Equality Utah folks at a convenience store. Rich was a little shocked by that since Utah is well known as a Mormon stronghold

We spent a little time wandering around D.C. checking out statuary, monuments and such.

Saw the White House and I can’t believe how dinky it looks.

White House

White House

She who hocked the Jewels to finance the journey of Columbus. Apropos for Columbus day isnt’ it?

Queen Isabel

Queen Isabel

The inscription roughly translates to “Ysabel’s first Catholic kingdom of aragon castile islands and mainland of the ocean sea.

The Washington Monument:

Washington Monument

Washington Monument

We saw that as well as statues of Andrew Jackson, and other notables.

We grabbed lunch at a little place called Cosi’s. I had the roast beef with wasabi and pickled ginger. It was a little pricey since the sandwich, chips and a drink came to $9.99. Though I very rarely order out anymore so I may have lost touch with prices. I ended up taking $60 with me and only spending $30 throughout the day.

I noticed during the morning that we didn’t see a lot of people milling around. I found out later why that was the case.

They staggered the locations and times for all the bus drop offs.

Just before the march there was a little warm up march.

We left the restaurant at about 11:30AM and made our way over to the rally point at 15th and K Streets. What we hadn’t realized it buy by the time we got to the really point, there was that a large group had already stepped off for the march. If you click on my flickr photos you’ll see a few parts where the pictures capture the march as it’s already turned the corner and is heading down another street.

Here is a video when we were waiting to kick off the march. They staged it pretty well though.

An Edge Providence photographer took some pics with me, Rich, RI Rep. Frank Ferri, and his partner Tony Caparco. Rich and I both had our MERI t-shirts on.

I’ll have more video from the march soon. I hadn’t realized what a bear it is to process just 15 or so minutes of raw video.

During the march itself we were chanting various things. At one point a D.C. cop helped us to keep cadence with his whistle.

When we finally got to the U.S. Capitol it was getting mobbed. I decided to go use the facilities but couldn’t get back in to hear the speakers. So I wandered the city a bit instead but I can tell you this, the crowd was at least a quarter million people or more.

And there were only a small handful of religious idiots on the sidelines. One carried the standard “1 Man, 1 Woman” sign. Fucking bigot. I believe but cannot verify that I told him to “Stick your god up your ass.”

Otherwise the parade was uneventful. We did have a chant-off with a group from Texas though. And I loved every minute of it. As I post more video and pictures you’ll understand. In fact the march had a certain energy to it. I really really loved being there.

On the bus ride back we watched the movie “Milk”. The movie was ideally coupled to what we just did. That was Harvey Milk’s main modus operandi. Get out and be an activist.

One funny moment came when Paul L. was perusing Facebook learned that I was gay. I just gave him the “It’s pretty obvious.” look.

Otherwise on the ride back we pretty much slept. I even slept from the end of Milk until we were just about out of Connecticut. So that’s about an hour and half. I did wake up in time to see Orion just above the horizon when we were still in the Connecticut woods.

Got home around 2:40AM, kissed Keyron, and went to bed. Rolled out of bed at 9AM. And I’m still recovering. My throat is sore and I’m just coming down off a major caffeine jag. This is the reason I don’t normally drink coffee.

I know that this one came on kind of fast but I think we’ll see another one next year. I just have that feeling because of the foot dragging over DADT and DOMA. So I think they should start planning now. We need to turn up the pressure on our elected reps. If you didn’t make it this year, you damn well better make the next march!

And I promise to be more coordinated next time, E.g. I’ll buy a throw-away cell phone so we can all link up. And I think knowing the city a little better I can suggest rally points (10th and K is actually a good one) for those who wish to join the group.

And when I got home I had an idea. The idea was to find all Marriage Equality supporters in Governor Carcieri’s home districts. Couple that with the fact that Carcieri has open door Thursdays and you can see where this is going. I found 250 people on the list so here we go!

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Comments»

1. Larry Ohio - October 12, 2009

I was hoping beyond hope to run into you there, but the masses were staggering, and I didn’t have a way to reach you! Greg and I had a great time. Sunday was perfect!

2. wondermann - October 13, 2009

i am glad this was a great experience


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