Tales from the Prop 8 Protest in DC

I just got back home from the Proposition 8 protest in DC, and wanted to share some of the pictures and stories I took away from it. If you want, you can see all the photos I took in my flickr photostream.

To begin, my rainbow socks

Rainbow Socks

Proposition 8 Protest, DC

The initial gathering in front of the Capitol Building Reflecting Pool. I got off the Metro, and immediately saw people wearing rainbow clothing and HRC stickers and carrying signs streaming towards the gathering. As we walked the two blocks from the Metro station, someone honked at us. We cheered and waved back.

This woman began, “I am angry,” and starting telling us why. She was a fantastic speaker. I loved that one of the things she mentioned being angry about was “the scapegoating, in our community, of African Americans.” 

Proposition 8 Protest, DC

We began marching across the National Mall–this was the first of many streets we crossed, and with each street we crossed, the line of cars and buses waiting grew longer and longer. Major thanks go to the DC police for standing out there in the rain (though it hadn’t started raining yet!) and keeping us safe.

(Also, that pink sign on the far left? It read, “Things to do this Millennium: Achieve Equal Rights, End Discrimination, Buy Comfortable Pumps”!)

Proposition 8 Protest, DC

Looking back at the Capitol. One of the signs I saw early on read, “This weather is disgusting! But so is discrimination!” (Or something to that effect.) in response to the weather reports that it was supposed to rain. And rain it did. But when we started, it was warm and lovely…

Proposition 8 Protest, DC

I love watching people sign. It’s so beautiful. This group of men walking in front of me for a while was the first of two groups of people I saw signing today at the protest. That gives me warm fuzzy feelings inside. 

Proposition 8 Protest, DC

…And then it started pouring down rain. The march thinned out a tiny bit for a while there as a few people ran for cover, but as you can see, most people kept going, and spent the next 2+ hours in soggy, wet clothing.

Proposition 8 Protest, DC

Okay, so because it was rainy, I didn’t get many more pictures from the rest of the march, and one of the things that even the pictures I did get didn’t really capture was the sheer size of our group. You looked back, and all you could see was the line of marchers stretching back behind us. You looked forward, and all you could see ahead were even more marchers.

Several cars honked at us, and at one point, the honking was so loud that someone asked “are they honking in support, or because they’re pissed?” I chose optimism, and assumed they were honking for us. 

One of my favorite warm fuzzy moments was when, at one point, we passed a Metro Access Van, and the driver was a black woman, a huge grin on her face, honking away and waving at us out the window.

Proposition 8 Protest, DC

This might be my favorite picture of the day!

Proposition 8 Protest, DC

We ended up in front of the White House, and coalesced into small groups. People were invited to come up and share their stories… as one of the organizers said, “a line, a poem, a story… even interpretive dance!” People chanted and cheered, and yes, shared stories…

Proposition 8 Protest, DC

This couple got up and said: “We wanted to get married at the Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill, but the priest told us we couldn’t. So we went to San Francisco!” (And then they kissed, and people cheered. Yes, I’m all about the warm fuzzy moments!)

Proposition 8 Protest, DC

So, this woman started by saying, “The night Obama was elected, my friend texted me and said, ‘now I can come out.'”

Proposition 8 Protest, DC

And as promised, more signers! In this photo, the man in the orange shirt, and the woman in the gray shirt with dreadlocks took turns interpreting for the others in their group. At one point, the man in orange cheered, and he was easily the loudest person there!

Proposition 8 Protest, DC

One of the organizers, who spoke about the need for expanding our community, making it more inclusive, so that people wouldn’t have to choose between their different identities. Except he said it more eloquently than me.

I did get up and talk, actually. I repeated what I said here, except, more concisely. And by then it was past four, and I was not only wet, but starting to get seriously cold, so after listening to a few more stories, I left.

I’m too exhausted to come up with a final summing up for the day, except that it was really powerful and energizing to be a part of such a big protest, and to know that the same thing was happening all over the United States. And I want to thank the organizers and everyone who made such a huge event possible.

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5 thoughts on “Tales from the Prop 8 Protest in DC

  1. The U.S. government crossed a VERY serious line with PROP 8. This “proposition” threatened children’s sense of safety and belongingness in California. Children’s safety.

    Regardless of THIS particular fight, there are way too many fights on way too many fronts for us to conquer
    piecemeal. The Time is Now – DRAW A NEW LINE in the sand and demand from President Obama and our representatives FULL EQUALITY.

    Equality Is Simple When You Simply Include Everybody.

    What? Not detailed enough for the lawyers?

    OK, we can list repealing DOMA, repealing DADT, include transgender in the ENDA Bill, allow adoption of abandoned children, equality in immigration issues, recognize our hate crimes as such, equal family/children rights……….whew! See what I mean?

    We are EQUAL SOULS in HUMAN BODIES. Could we please STOP discriminating due to the genitalia attached? Plumbing will determine each civil right?! Any separation from the pack is ultimately due to gender (and/or gender roles & stereotyping), and that is SEXISM. I cannot marry Bob because I am the “wrong” gender; if I were a woman I could marry Bob. SEXISM.

    And I cannot stress ENOUGH how my own suffering from Marriage Inequality is NOT the reason for wanting or needing equality. I am not something to focus on. But my story, and the stories of countless other Americans desperately need to be addressed in this civil rights struggle. Marriage laws were put in place many years ago in order to PROTECT individuals and their FAMILIES; if they were NOT necessary they would not exist (for heterosexuals). When these laws are NOT in place for ALL OF US, horrible, horrible suffering occurs. My WEBSITE has many examples.

    So Americans want to continue denying us what they have already deemed as essential. And many people want us to
    WAIT…2….5……10…….20……..30 YEARS, depending on the “civil right”, for what WAS and IS our birthright.

    I personally have a HUGE problem with that. I cannot wait. I will not wait.

    Will you join me on Wednesday, April 15th, 2009, and help me inform the government that WE are eager to be included in the federal tax base as soon as THEY include us in society’s laws? My 5-year-old students could understand this concept: EQUAL = EQUAL

    As Americans can’t we agree that there are MANY other important issues to address (like the Economy, Education, Health Care, Poverty & Homelessness, Iraq/Afghanistan…all of these are related), and solving THOSE problems is more urgent than having “Equality Issues” TIE UP THE COURTS for another 30+ years? We will NOT go away.

    You keep procreating; we keep popping out. Sorry.

    Our representatives have spent years inventing 4-letter words (DOMA, DADT) to restrict us, deny us, demoralize us, and harm our beloved families and children. Enough is enough.

    NO MORE. NO MORE.

    ==========================
    The National Equality Tax Protest
    – Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 –
    ==========================

  2. Oh, I think I remember you! We walked over from the metro station in the same clump of people, right? That’s awesome!

  3. Pingback: Back to regularly scheduled programming… « Wingcolor

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