Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The National Equality March...March On!

There has been alot of coverage of the National Equality March circling the net this last few days. In my opinion most of it seems to be agenda laden and heavy on bias. Not that I will be bias free..quite the opposite. I will do the best I can to give you my account as seen from a marchers point of view. We had many adventures before the march itself and after, but for the sake of time I will limit myself to just our account of the march. Without further ado...

The morning of the march we got our tired tourist butts out of bed and got everyone ready. Next it was off to the hotel lobby for ritual of Starbucks coffee and pastries for breakfast...the kids get milk of course...not coffee...that would just be to dangerous for society to unleash caffenated children on an unsuspecting public.

Then the journey of a thousand steps begins. Off we march to find the chinatown metro station which is about a three block haul from our hotel on 9th and I streets. Not a bad walk at all. We took Washingtons awsomely easy metro system to the Dupont Circle, D.C.'s "gay district" and walked the remaining blocks to our staging point at the Maddison hotel. On the way were tons of gay couples in the streets. Some headed to the staging area for the march, some going straight to the Capitol Building lawn to secure a good spot to watch the speakers.

Next it was a waiting game as we assembled on 15th street with the other marchers.

We ran into a few Youtube viewers and got to say hi. We love to meet Youtubers so, never feel bad to come up to us and say hi! We met Sean Chapin and friends and found our spot to wait. It was a beautifull sunny day and getting hotter by the minute, Not at all what I expected for fall on the east coast. More and More people filed in till we couldn't see the end of them in either direction. This is our view looking forward:

And looking behind us toward the Maddison:

There were many gay groups and more than a few straigt ones as well. We saw a contingent from San Francisco that had some really inventive marching chants. There were flags from everywhere including a veterrans contingent which was great to see. Tiny $5.00 rainbow flags were EVERYWHERE as were the "legalize gay" tshirts. It was great to see such a positive show of support and great turnout. From here in the crowd though there was no way to judge how many people made it.

The march was scheduled to begin at 12:00 and we had arrived plenty early. Noon came and went and the crowd didn't move an inch. It was a warm day and people were getting restless. Chants of "March Now!" were breaking out all over the crowd as we waited to begin. In retrospect, there were probably so many people in front of us that it took that long for our section for finally be able to move. But at last we began to move.

We moved down 15th street and then right onto H st. This is where the march changed for me. as we marched past Lafayette square I turned to look left and after the trees cleared...this is what I saw:

We cheated and cut through Lafayette Square instead of going around it. Along the way We stopped for a photo op:

Marching right along after our detour, we eventually turned onto Pennsylvania Ave. This was the longest straight march of the route. The chants were still going strong at this point and spirits where high.

Now,...I have heard lots of conflicting numbers about how many people attended the march. During the march we were told they estimated about 150,000 people. Afterwards on CNN, they only reported it as "several thousand" which is a totall downplay of the size of this event. I've even seen numbers on blogsites as low as 1500-2000 which is utter garbage. Take a look at this crowd and tell us what you think. This is the march down pennsylvania as we saw it Looking behind us on 5th street:

And forward up Pennsylvania Ave:

It was at this point in the march that we saw a straight interraccial couple watching the march carrying a sign that read, "Our Marriage was illegal at one time too". I thought that was just awsome. During all this the kids were just champs but the day did take its tole on all of us. Selena started this way:

And ended it this way:

Note the words on the building behind us. Appropriate no?

When we finally hit the lawn at the Capitol Building we were all tired and needed to rest. The crowd there was already unimaginably huge and we had to find a place far back from the stage. While we tried to listen to the speakers Selena discovered her second wind and scoured the lawn for chestnuts....we teased her about being a squirrel storing up for winter but she had a huge pile after a while. at least a hundred. Here are some views of the speakers as we saw them:

Among the many Youtubers we got to meet was Zachary of stylenxs:

All the while people where streaming in to the lawn Even long after we got tired and decided it was time to get some food and begin the trip back to the hotel. All in all it was a great day and I hope it sent the right message to those that needed to hear it. We are no longer asking for our right...we are demanding those rights. We are not going to continue to sit back and wait for someone to be nice enought to give them to us...its time to demand our due as American citizens. And as lovely as this day was...its only the beginning.

I leave you with these words from Abraham Lincoln we found at his memorial.


  1. Thank you for your posts. I found your blog search for information on the NEM last week. I am a young man who hopes to someday have a family much like yours.

  2. I glad you had a good time Bryan, I wanted to be there so badly, but well, maybe in the future.

    I dig the new hair style ( I know is gel you put in youtube, but still looks cool XD)

  3. So glad your family enjoyed DC and the march. Saw your daughter in the crowd on top of someone's shoulders. As a first timer,I had a great time and have new respect for the PFLAG moms. They were so enthusiastic and funny! I also saw some older hetero couples and a family with small children who wanted to show their support. By my estimate there was well over 100k there, since there were marchers at the White House when our group was still waiting.

    We do have more to push for federal recognition of marriage equality. One of the endorsed Republican candidates for the 2010 Iowa governors race wants to issue an executive order staying gay marriage there with the next stop to repeal the law. These people will never quit until there's a federal law.

  4. Thanx for the post. I've been waiting for it since yesterday morning, then I realized we are at the opposite side of the globe. :)

    Since I started following your blog I began searching for groups and advocates on gay rights here in Cebu, Philippines. I found a few and I'm still gathering enough strength and information about our fight for our right. I would want to join but I still have my reservations. Your blog and videos serve as my inspiration. Whenever I get the feeling of hopelessness, I turn to your blog and read it as well as your videos. Thanks for being there. March on...

  5. Welcome to my blogg newcomers...its always nice to hear new voices out there.

    There must have been alot more Youtubers out there than we believed heatherfeather. We certainly met a bunch. It would have been great to say hi to you....

    and nuts.unlimited....first off, love the name...secondly We are with you in hopeing for a better world and sometimes feeling hopeless. All of us need to keep working in whatever ways we can...just be safe...and know your not alone...

  6. and p.s....I intend to lose the helmet hair...

  7. why? You look cute with that hair...

    P.s. please say Hi! to Selena and Daniel for me.
    I'm actually working on a case of a possible Goldenhar Syndrome with one of our patients here. I hope things will work out fine with our patient. One big problem we have is the lack of financial support. We don't have good healthcare benefits here, and its the medical students and our medical school now who are actually helping out.

  8. Thanks Bryan!
    You guys have turned me into a middle aged gay activist! LOL We have a creepy congressman here in Ohio. His name is John Boehner. (He is that tanned minority leader with the blue eyes..that always looks like he has a hangover and is always bashing President Obama) He is not in my district but I intend to contact him and I hope EVERYONE who reads this blog will too. He was asked about the hate crimes bill that is coming up for a vote. He said something like..."I do not intend to vote for special rights of people who CHOOSE to be homosexual." Is that sick or what? I wonder how many teenagers in his district have committed suicide because they "CHOSE" to be gay??
    Love yor blog Bryan.

  9. i wish i were there..but i didnt make it..thx for ur posting....God bless u

  10. Oh jim...I am hearing more about John "boner" these days than ever before