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26 thoughts on “Equality March Snapshots

  1. Was this an equality rights march or a Dungeons & Dragons convention?

    I know someone’s gonna be offended when I say this – and I hope not because I’m all for gaying up the place – but, no amount of legislation or referenda are ever going to give queers the mainstream status they say they desire as long as they keep headlining their parades, assemblages, etc. with people who look like they’re on break from tour with the Cirque de Soleil.

    The 4th Level Magic User and the dude from Madame Butterfly in the bottom photo are leading 71 toward a blazing defeat. SRSLY – CH isn’t the only place in this state with gays … pics like these are going to make the homosexual community in Okanogan County (and, statistically, they do exist) vote against 71.

    EDIT – even richer, I like the fact that the chick in the traffic vest is from the Freedom Socialist Party, self-described as a revolutionary Trotskyist movement. Spokanites loves those kinda endorsements! Mark my word, if this is par for the 71 campaign, and I’m sure it is, 71 will win by huge margins in Seattle, Olympia, Bellingham and nowhere else. Next time around someone should remember to put the adults in charge.

  2. Zan – O

    There were no chicks in the march. The Hill has been home to a vast and varied LGBT community for 50 years, an open and diverse community.

    Seattle has always had a ton of lefty groups, one of its political strengths. Choices and bold conversations on issues.

    The event was planned since June, long before any ballot measures. But as you noted, tons of supporting Approve Ref: 71 signs, apparently adults get the idea of a campaign push, with mail in voting starting this week all over the state.

    Next June, try Gay Pride which stages downtown on 4th Ave. You will be amazed, Seattle becomes liken to a queer mardi gras, tens and tens of thousand of paraders and spectators, all cool and festive. You might be shocked, but, over time a good party grows on one.

    Signed – Mike with Curls, chair of the queer Welcome Wagon on Capitol Hill

  3. uh, Mike —- it’s not like I’ve lived in CH since yesterday

    and the fact you think I might have just because I find hamstringing the movement for gay equality to demonstrations of circus culture indicates some root of the problem (fyi, there’s a marked difference between a “lefty group” and a group that advocates the overthrow of the U.S. government, using codewords to propagate support for political violence … the worst kind of violence of all [if one is worse than another]; unfortunately, the self-righteous and self-assured enjoy ignoring messages of blood-drenched violence as long as it fits with their desire to self-identify habitation in a zone of the self-proclaimed ‘creative class’, the saddest kind of intellectual ignorance achievable)

  4. “There were no chicks in the march.”

    I will apologize for that. From the angle of the photograph I thought it was a woman and not a man. That was unintentional and not intended as a slight.

  5. The costumed people that Zan-O took exception to are the Sisters of the Motherhouse of Washington. Drag nuns have a long history in the LGBTQ movement and in Seattle. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have been around since the 80s, and they have recently been joined by the Sisters of the Motherhouse. Both groups do good work for the LGBTQ community: the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence focus on fundraising while the Motherhouse often at marches and rallies and will soon start visits to hospices.

    The point of these groups dressing up as drag nuns is to be visible. Even now, it’s easy for members of the LGBTQ community to be pushed aside and forgotten, especially if they push the boundaries of the mainstream conceptions of gender. The last two letters of the acronym stand for trans and queer, after all.

  6. “The point of these groups dressing up as drag nuns is to be visible.”

    Al-Qaeda creates a lot of visibility for Islam, too, and Fred Phelps creates a lot of visibility for Christianity.

    This has nothing to do with transgender, this is a circus freak show designed to fulfill a masturbatory desire for attention.

    You think that kind of visibility is beneficial when you’re beating the drum that to a family in rural Lewis County that gays are normal, average, everyday people, too? If so, you’re really disconnected and you may want to alight into your golden chariot to descend off The Hill every now and again … or even once.

    This is a hysterical sideshow and nothing more. It’s not to be taken seriously and it won’t be taken seriously by anyone outside of a 30-block radius of Broadway & John.

    As the often erudite Barney Frank said last week, these marches are “only putting pressure on the grass.”

  7. What the fuck is wrong with the right wing queers like Zan-O who sit on their asses and criticize REAL leaders and REAL fighters for lgbt equality? You are irrelevant, Zan-O. You’re ideas are right wing. You’re pathetic comments give confidence to the bigots behind Ref 71 and discourage lgbt people and our allies from standing up and organizing. Why do fuckers like you REFUSE to listen to what grassroots organizers have to say? I’ve been a queer activist for half my life, attending my first lgbt protest (and way more than just protests since then) at the age of 17. I’m now 35. Lobbying and voting CLEARLY aren’t enough. SUCKING BARNEY FRANK’S ASSHOLE CLEARLY ISN’T ENOUGH.

    You, Zan-0, are part of the right wing that is forgotten by history, just like the warnings of the New York City Mattchine Society were rightly ignored back on a warm night in June 1969:

    “A clash between the old guard organizers and newly rising militants was apparent from the Sunday of the riots, when Mattachine activists who’d met with the mayor’s office and police posted this sign on the front of the Stonewall: “We homosexuals plead with our people to please help maintain peaceful and quiet conduct on the streets of the Village—Mattachine.” Their pleas were ignored. Each night thereafter through Wednesday, more and more gays and straight leftists, from socialists and Black Panthers to the Yippies and Puerto Rican Young Lords, arrived on the scene to participate in the latest confrontation with police.”

  8. We demand full equality

    Eric Ruder reports from Washington on the National Equality March–and the birth of a new civil rights movement for LGBT people in the U.S.

    October 12, 2009

    YOUNG AND old, gay and straight, people from across the country descended on Washington, D.C., to demand full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on October 11. They came by plane, train, bus and automobile–from Albuquerque, N.M., from Burlington, Vt., from Chicago, from Texas, from Florida, from California and from a thousand points in between.

    People started gathering in the morning at McPherson Square, buzzing with nervous anticipation about just how many would mobilize for the first national march for LGBT rights in a decade and a half. By the time the march stepped off at noon, everyone knew that the crowd was large, but it did not become clear just how large until the front of the march headed west and then snaked back past the White House–with tens of thousands still waiting in and around the square to start moving!

    In all, some 200,000 people formed a river of humanity that flooded the blocks around the White House and the Capitol, filling the streets with rainbow flags, handmade signs and a festival-like atmosphere. The turnout exceeded even the wildest expectations of march organizers.

    “I think that there are generations of younger activists and straight allies who over the last 15 years have been awakening to the need for them to speak out about LGBT equality, and so this march came at the right time,” said Urvashi Vaid, an LGBT activist and author.

    It tapped into that energy. A lot of people I’ve met said that this is their first march on Washington, so I think that’s important. Marches are about mobilizing the base, and the base of LGBT rights needs to go back around the country and work at the local level. Each time we have had a national march like this, we have had an upsurge in grassroots activism at home.

    “I think the turnout reflects a shift of attitude in the community itself,” said David McElhatton, a member of the march steering committee from San Francisco. He added:

    For a long time, we have relied on massive non-profits and lobbying organizations that are very much out of touch with the needs of this community and who this community is.

    We are a vastly diverse group of people, and this was an entirely grassroots effort. It began with a call for anyone in the country to organize to get out here. My organization in San Francisco, One Struggle, One Fight, raised money for HIV-positive activists and transgender activists to get out here. This march was spearheaded by people, not by corporations or overpowering organizations.

    No one was shut out of this march. Every possible effort was made to keep this march inclusive and diverse as the community itself to make sure that no one was shut out, to make sure that there was trans inclusion, and trans figures, which was very important to me personally.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    PEOPLE OF all sorts came out for the march. Alongside the many first-time marchers were veteran activists, families with children, groups of friends, veteran and active-duty troops, students from campus organizations, members of labor unions, immigrant rights activists, and people of every race, creed and color. Together they stood, united around one simple message–full equality for LGBT people in all matters governed by civil law.

    Hundreds of students representing a new generation of LGBT activists carried the lead banner of the march, bursting with energy as they marched through the streets. “Get up, get down, there’s a civil rights movement in this town!” was one of the favorite chants that these students belted with all their might.

    As one student from the University of Cincinnati who traveled to Washington, D.C., for the march said:

    We are here to demonstrate that this movement is strong. There are countless people involved in the movement that are willing to come down here and demonstrate, support and fight for our rights. We need to get our message across. We need to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” [DADT] and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA]. We must enact the Employment Non-Discrimination Act [ENDA].

    “I think, given the economy, the most important demand is having rights in our workplace,” said Bridie Jurasevich, a student from Indiana. “I think when it comes to parenting rights and equal adoption rights, marriage equality is crucial. I just don’t understand why I don’t have this right. I pay taxes. I work. I should have the same rights as everyone else.”

    Frank Naso, one of the thousands who was participating for the first time in a big march, explained that it was his frustration with the pace of change that made him decide to come to Washington from New York City:

    I started to get more politically active after realizing that Obama was not going to be able to deliver on some of the things he promised. It made me realize that it’s not really the person but the system that needs to be changed. That was the moment for me that made me feel like that I had to get up and do something.

    This march makes me think of all the people who aren’t here, that I’ve lost, that would be here. I feel like I’m here for them, too. So many of my friends died of AIDS in the early ’90s. We went through so much in the ’90s–not being able to visit friends in the hospital, not being considered family. I feel like I am marching for them.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    ONE OF the many topics that marchers discussed as they made their way through the streets was the speech delivered by Barack Obama at a fundraiser for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) the night before. HRC promotes itself as the largest LGBT organization in the country, but many in the LGBT community were disappointed by HRC’s decision not to put its full weight behind the march, or even help to publicize it broadly.

    Obama’s speech expressed his support for the full legislative agenda of the new LGBT movement, including the repeal of DADT and DOMA and the passage of ENDA. But he didn’t say anything about a timeline for achieving these goals. There was a spectrum of opinion about the speech and what this means for the nascent LGBT movement.

    “I thought it was a strong speech,” said Vaid. She added:

    I thought it was unequivocally in support. He didn’t set a timetable, which people are criticizing, and I think we should keep the pressure on the administration. But they are clearly our friends, and he is clearly committed in a way that would be very hard not to follow through on. I think people should turn their disappointment toward Congress and to governors and state legislatures. People should turn their disappointment into political organizing back home to create the new majority that we’re going to need to sustain social justice in this country.

    But for Hailey Rodriguez, a student from San Antonio, Texas, Obama and the Democrats in Congress are playing political football with LGBT rights. “We need to become more visible to the country,” said Rodriguez. “And to Obama, we cannot be silent. We want equality. Congress has other priorities right now, and I feel like Obama is a really smooth talker. Maybe this march will help pressure him. It’s good for him to see that we are not going to tolerate this. People are getting more active.”

    Related to the question of Obama’s posture toward LGBT demands is the stance of the rest of the Democrats in positions of power–both in government and in the party–and it’s clear that many continue to counsel “patience.”

    Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), for example, predicted that Obama would succeed at repealing DADT at some point in the future. “I think he will and he can, but it has to be done in the right way, which is to get a buy-in from the military, which I think is now possible,” Levin said.

    But it’s disappointing when a Democratic “ally” is more cautious than such figures as retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey. “There’s no question that it’s time to change the policy,” said McCaffrey. “The key to it isn’t buy-in from the military; it’s for Congress to change the law. They ought to do so, and I’m confident that the military will move ahead on it.”

    Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the first openly gay member of Congress, was even more hostile, denouncing the marchers for not putting more energy into lobbying. “The only thing they’re going to be putting pressure on is the grass,” said Frank.

    For this reason, one of the more popular chants, especially among students, was “Barney Frank, fuck you!”

    Another issue, played up by the media in the days leading up to the march, was the “rift” in the movement between those who advocate a state-by-state approach to winning LGBT rights and those who favor a national strategy to demand full equality at the federal level.

    “I hope we don’t wake up the day after Election Day and realize we could have won Maine if only so many resources weren’t put toward the march,” Lynne Bowman, executive director of Equality Ohio, told the New York Times in the days leading up to the march.

    Cleve Jones, who was a close collaborator of the late Harvey Milk and is one of the march organizers, addressed this debate at a press conference just before the march:

    A year ago today, no one was talking about a national strategy to win federal equality, but now we are. People need to look back to 1963, when the great heroes of the historic civil rights movement were having exactly the same conversation that we are having today. It was bitter and divisive and complicated, and it did not lend itself well to simple sound-bite rhetoric. But the great heroes of that struggle came to the decision that while they were certainly going to continue fighting in places with names like Selma and Birmingham and Montgomery, they would have to set their sights on Washington, D.C.

    When we look back on the extraordinary bitterness and division in this country at that time, what happened was that white America came to understand the appalling brutality of segregation.

    The day before yesterday, I saw a couple pushing a baby stroller down the street, and they asked me, “Did we see you on Chris Matthews?” And I said yes. They said, “We are a straight family from New Jersey, and we heard what you said and we went and packed and got in a car so that we could march with you today.”

    There is a sea change happening in this country, and it is very similar to the civil rights movement, and I want to be conscious about not drawing too many parallels between the LGBT and the African American experience, but as far as strategy, the civil rights movement was spot on.

    Of course, people are confused and concerned and also, let’s be frank, deeply invested–and I use that word deliberately–in pursuing this strategy. In private, some will tell you that they have a 10-10-10 strategy. Not many people hear this, but what they want is, before we go federal, get 10 states to approve marriage through a vote of the people (which has never happened), 10 states to get marriage through court action, and get 10 states to get it through legislative action.

    So they want 30 states to approve marriage equality before going to Congress, meanwhile how many states have passed state constitutional bans against marriage? 32. So when you ask them privately how long will that take? They say 20 years, 25 years, 30 years. That’s unacceptable.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    RUSSELL REISH, who is 71, and Albert Masse, who is 82, have been together for more than three decades–and they couldn’t agree more with Jones. Masse carried a sign that read, “Together for 38 years and still waiting for the right to marry!”

    Explained Reish:

    We were here in Washington back in 1987 and again in 1993, and we have seen much progress from the fifties and sixties when we were out and growing up gay. But we still need the right to marry and all these other rights. Albert is sick and he doesn’t have too long, but I will not have any benefits as his partner. So that’s what we want to see. But we are so happy to see all the young people here who are going to carry on our work.

    Reish’s sign explained that police had attacked the bar he was in in 1965 and left him bruised and bloodied. “I was in a local gay bar in Los Angeles called Mansfield House,” said Reish. “It was just a boring gay neighborhood bar. But the cops came in full uniform and dragged all the patrons out, and I was selected to be beaten up instead of taken to jail, for which I was grateful. Thank god that doesn’t happen any more.

    “We live in Georgia, and we’ve raised two daughters. They’re actually my nieces but we raised them from the time they were 7 and 9 years old. And we’re still their parents.”

    “And now we have three grandchildren,” added Masse.

    “The oldest girl moved to Georgia, so we followed so we could watch our grandson grow up,” Reish continued. “We’re probably the only two gay people in the county we live in Georgia.”

    Asked by a younger activist what a national, rather than a state-by-state, strategy would mean for the LGBT community of Georgia, Reish didn’t hesitate for a moment: “If we waited for the state of Georgia to do anything, you will be dead! It has to be done on a national, federal level. There is no other way. With Obama here and a Democratic-controlled Congress, I don’t see why we can’t get it done.”

    As marchers arrived at the Capitol, they pressed forward to hear speeches by a long list of activist leaders, political figures and celebrities, including march organizers Cleve Jones, David Mixner, Sherry Wolf and others; gay rights activist Urvashi Vaid; veteran civil rights leader Julian Bond; Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon; pop singer Lady Gaga; spoken word poet and political activist Staceyann Chin; labor leader Stuart Applebaum; and many others.

    Speakers addressed the broad range of issues facing LGBT people, including an end to the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, passage of ENDA and repeal of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed by Bill Clinton and defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

    Sherry Wolf, a march organizer and author of the recently released Sexuality and Socialism, summarized the sentiments of many who spoke:

    The establishment is telling us that with the economy in collapse, a health care nightmare and two wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are being impatient by demanding that Obama give us our civil rights now. There is too much on the plate.

    What we need to understand is that LGBT people in this country are among the millions of American who are losing their jobs and are having their homes foreclosed on.

    We are the ones who are losing their health care or who have crappy health care at best. And we are also the ones, tragically, by the tens of thousands, who are fighting and dying for wars for oil and empire.

    This is an outrage, it’s not acceptable and we are going to continue to fight. And if anyone ever tells you that you cannot build something with no money and no existing organization, they’re wrong. Look around you. The timing is right because the anger is there, and people are fed up and done with the old strategy. It doesn’t work. This is our new strategy right here today.

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    What you can do
    To get involved with the rebirth of the LGBT movement, help build Equality Across America–a national grassroots network that fights for full LGBT equality. Text your e–mail address and zip code to 37686, or sign up online at [1].

    Leia Petty and Ashley Smith contributed to this article.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

  9. Are we all supposed to look like right wingers so we don’t offend anybody? I’m certainly not willing to risk a person’s right to march with us just because you think it’s going to turn off voters. If they were going to be turned off by something like the fantastic and loving people from the Sisters then they don’t need to call themselves our allies.

    What was that “fuck that” cheer we had this weekend? That is what I say!

    PS: I know lots of Dungeons and Dragons players. I’m offended that you’ve decided to diss on two of my greatest groups of friends.

  10. “I’m certainly not willing to risk a person’s right to march with us just because you think it’s going to turn off voters.”

    That’s fine, sweetie. That’s absolutely your right.

    In RealPolitik, however, you will meet with total failure at the ballot box (see: Prop 8) if you make the choice to not be sensitive to the realities of group dynamics but we all make choices and you’ve made yours. Best of luck, honey.

    BTW – D&D players are all anti-social, school shooter lunatics. You should know that if you know any.

  11. This is the prob … no one under the age of 200 remembers 1960-whenever, it’s not relevant to 90-percent of the gay population – just the extremely vocal, self-appointed – mostly old and decrepit, 30, 40 and 50-something – leadership caste and a very small number of young hangers-on they’ve conned into following them. The bulk of the Washington gay population is as fed-up with these street circuses and ridiculously demonstrative buffoonery as everyone else. You, however, have yourself so insulated from the real world that you think you actually are, somehow, representative of mainstream LGBT rather than an off-kilter fringe that’s co-opted the LGBT community.

    Your choice of verbiage belies your own agenda that is at odds with any real notion of progress for gay rights. Your use of sexual epithets to describe Congressman Franks belies your agenda and the destructive path it’s weaving on the LGBT community.

    People like you occupy a weird niche in time. You’re rejected in wholesale by young gays and old gays, it’s just that weird middle-age group of bears with whom you can find comfort. My opera tickets are next to an older gentleman in his early ’80’s who is gay (at least I’m 90% sure he is because he’s unmarried and he once offered to show me how to fold my pocket square when my girlfriends were unable) and I can tell you, he is a gentleman of refinement and class – not this proletariat street circus nonsense. He’d be as non-plussed at the idea of being represented by this freak show as pro-LGBT straights like myself are …

  12. Zan – O

    You sound so bitter and stuck in some never the truth about our past space.

    If I were to wear a suit and tie to the next march – would that help your concept of liberation and how to change the minds of bigots?

    And in every way, Seattle is far far away from Lewis county – but – granted, logger men are the shit.

    Your posts are quaint, off target and locked in the past. Nice gay boys just must be nicer and it will all work out. Oh, dear, how funny.

    You are the only grump in the world that doesn’t like costumes and fun and some street theater. In Settle people wear costumes to work, and out for dates and whenever/where they damn please … yup.

    Seattle is a lot like hip London and Paris in that respect.

    Zan – O – did you march in your suit and tie, or, just like to carp and moan?

  13. Once again, your words reveal your dogged determination to paint yourself into a corner of complete and utter irrelevance. They reveal your choice of self-insulation into a tiny fringe of the surreal is so complete that you actually think this is how 99% of the population behaves.

    At no time during my two years in Paris were the characters in the circus of the bizarre viewed as anything more than they are here: a fringe group of street trash, ridiculed by the mainstream of society and locked-out at every level through social norms that don’t require laws to enforce.

    It takes very little to make or repeal laws. It takes a lot more to craft or change attitudes. Until LGBT cast-off the yoke of the dictatorship of the surreal there will never be any real success; at best some rewritten words in the RCW and USC.

    You need more people like Photo #1, less people like Photo #2, 3 and 4. Unfortunately, you’ve chased all of the Photo #1 types away with your complete and total lunacy.

  14. Zan – O

    you never made it into the 16th arr.

    Take a brake from attacking those who do the work dans la rue — AND — just for your information, GSBA, HRC, the Men’s Chorus – all and more are so mainstream they squeak.

    Seattle has it all and that is why it is a great place for LGBT folks to live and work.

    But, be careful. The women who run GSBA, Exec. Dir.Louise and Board Chair Mona, don’t like to be called chicks.

  15. Zan – O

    you never made it into the 16th arr.

    Take a brake from attacking those who do the work dans la rue — AND — just for your information, GSBA, HRC, the Men’s Chorus – all and more are so mainstream they squeak.

    Seattle has it all and that is why it is a great place for LGBT folks to live and work.

    But, be careful. The women who run GSBA, Exec. Dir.Louise and Board Chair Mona, don’t like to be called chicks.

  16. Thank you so much for sharing your remarks..I appreciate them. I will however continue to wear my uniform and my make up if I feel like it to fight for the rights of anyone that is being discriminated against including You. I will also continue to educate the public on HIV/AIDS and to raise money for the charities that do not receive government funding.
    The Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence of whom I am the Founder of in the state of Washington circa 1987 and the Founder Of The Sister Of The Mother House Of Washington, June 2009 will continue to do what we have done with our counterparts from all over the world for the last 30 years.
    Some people get it and some do not… it is ok. really…….as long as No one is hurting anyone I think we are all fine and can be ok with freedom of expression….( I actually believe what Harvey Milk who I knew once said….) ” The Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence are like a barometer……just how free are you?”

    When I wear my uniform my goal is to only reach 1 person per outing and it has always been that way for me and I pass that on to my Novice and Postulant sisters.
    I will not give too much credence to your negativity toward the sisters.. I have been facing it for years. The funny thing to me still today is how real catholic nuns have gotten the message and have told me personally that if I felt comfortable in the habit to keep on wearing it. which I plan on doing.

    The History of The Sisters speaks for itself and will continue to live on no matter who understands it or who does not. It is a vocation like anything else.

    So, In closing I once again thank you Zan-O for giving me the strength and the fire and the nerve and the reason………… to keep doing exactly what I am doing and the way that I have chosen to express myself as I do so.

    Blessed Be
    M. Theresa Nervina

  17. and I must admit to being a little surprised by the Sisters (not knowing at the time who they were), but I thought it was fantastic the variety of people that came out for the event.

    While I don’t agree with, I do understand Zan-O’s point that the presence of those people who look different from what we consider mainstream are going to surprise/shock some people and discourage them from supporting gay rights or encourage them to stand against gay rights when they might otherwise remain silent. We may not like it, but he’s probably correct.

    However, as eager as I am to see equal rights for all, I believe it should be equal rights for ALL. If the homosexual community in Okanogan County votes against 71 because the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were photographed marching for rights that benefit them (the Okanogan County voters that is), then they are guilty of the very bigotry that they accuse others of. Sometimes, even often times, the right thing is not the politically expedient or sensible thing. But it is still the right thing.

  18. While we disagree, yours is at least a tempered, sensible and erudite reply and interesting dissection of issues and ideas; not the hysterical and shrill cacophony of the others.

  19. If you want people to take you seriously on an issue, you should probably leave your chain mail armor, potions, and sword at home. Or whatever costume you wear. I’d be more likely to give you candy than support your cause/issue.

  20. I find it interesting how most of the criticism this weekend has been dished out by people within the LGBT and allied community.

    It’s very discouraging and frustrating when folks verbally attack each other. It comes off as very selfish in many ways. I don’t quite understand whose rights you are fighting for… rights for queer youth to wear rainbows on their faces, rights for the drag nuns to dress in any way they’d like to, rights to be obviously trans and still get hired… or just rights for yourself to get a domestic partnership.

    Referendum 71 is undoubtedly a pressing issue here in WA. Lets keep in mind this is only ONE issue. If we’re unable to dress the way we’d like to because it will be off putting to “potential allies” or as some call the movable middle… I don’t quite see it as a legitimate argument, or even an effective tactic. You’re no longer fighting to keep the identity of the community. It doesn’t matter what the “gay mainstream” is. What matters is every person who wants to express themselves in whatever way that is is supported. Sounds like you are an ally of some sort… saying these folks should stay out and they don’t represent the “mainstream” is very hurtful and you’re forcing folks to go back into the closet. I wouldn’t consider you a bigot Zan-O, I think you have good intentions. But what you’re saying, I would consider to be homophobic and bigoted.

    When you have people in your own neighborhood confused on how they should be voting this coming election, you know there has to be an additional strategy to reach out to people. The problem isn’t we lack supporters, the problem is we don’t’ have enough supporters going out to VOTE.

    Take also into consideration how folks were impacted this weekend. One of the volunteers of the events after attending the this weekend and connecting with many people like him and finding there is support, called his mother during one of the events and came out as gay to her. Hearing that alone made tall the organizing work worth it.

    The events were put on by young activists with the support and mentorship of more experienced activists in the community. There was great intergenerational collaboration going on in the planning of these events, it truly represented a vast majority of ideas in the community.

    Keep in mind Zan-O, even though we don’t know who you are, even though we may disagree as to the impact this weekend had on folks, know we are out there organizing to not only fight for “equal protections in all matters under the law” for LGBT folks and allied folks, we are also trying to create a more accepting community. Having domestic partnerships is not the end all be all. There will still be queer youth getting kicked out of homes, there will still be deep rooted internalized homophobia that cause unhealthy relationships and can also lead to suicide and increase in HIV infection risks.

    Cleve Jones’ (founder of the AIDS quilt and co-chair of the National Equality March) response on the Anderson Cooper show in reference to Barney Frank’s concerns about the march needs to heard by more folks. He said.. no.. a march, a petition, a phone bank, a letter, a check, lobbying… all these things on their own are not enough to create change.. but all of them together.. YES.

    I apologize it’s such a lengthy response.. but.. I feel I had to state what the intentions were for the march. Zan-o… you are part of the community and I appreciate you expressing your concerns and ging us some input. Sounds like you have an idea of how things can be organized, feel free to visit for updates on the next organizing meeting. Best way to get what you want… is to do it. Time for complaining, criticizing, whining and nonconstructive criticism is no longer appreciated and needed. Time to step up and lead or support a strategy. We already have your vote Zan-o… help us get others.

    take care,

  21. Zan-0, you just compared charitably oriented drag nuns to Al-Qaeda and the the extremist far right. You just compared an LGBTQ group to parties that would burn them at the stake if they had the chance. Dressing up and looking non-mainstream doesn’t make people violent and closed-minded, just so we’re clear.

  22. So, let me understand this right wing asshole Zan-O… If fags just dress like “straight people”, we will get equal rights? What kind of right wing horse shit is that? I don’t have to look or act like you do do deserve the same rights. You clearly don’t know a god damn thing about lgbt history otherwise you would know that as long as lgbt people tried to fit into mainstream gender norms, we’ve never won equality. It’s only when we’ve fought to be ourselves (and for everyone to be him or herself) that we’ve EVER won. Read a book, get off your pedastal, and stop telling lies to people about how to win equality.