Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 11, 2009

At midnight, on October 11, 2009, I was just waking from a nap and sorting through piles of clothes in my room. I was looking for an outfit to wear to DC the next day for the National Equality March. I wanted something bright, colorful. I wanted to look good. I wanted to look approachable. I wanted something that said, Greetings! I come in peace. I couldn't settle on one outfit so I sat several to the side and tried to focus on getting some sleep before my (early for me) wake up call. It was a tough sell for my body. All the nerves and thoughts were keeping it up. Will it be awkward? Will there be a good turnout? Will I actually see Lady Gaga? Will I actually walk the whole march, or give up? Will I be able to handle the backlash? I wasn't entirely sure what would be in store for me the following day but I knew one thing: I was going to do my part in standing up for equality and I didn't give a damn what anyone else had to say about it.

I ended up wearing a lame outfit. Opting for practicality over fabulosity. I had to account for it being October in the DMV, my tendency to be colder than the rest of the world, and my need for pockets. I ate a heavy breakfast, packed my backpack, grabbed two bottles of water and headed for the Metro. As I pulled up, I saw a large group of people marching with rainbow flags and I couldn't hide my excitement on my face. I later discovered that the large group of people were all from Vermont and that was when I realized, this was going to be epic.

I arrived in DC just after 10am and the meeting place (15th & I) was not as packed as some people seemed to think it would be but I kept reminding them, it was still early. I was right. By 11:30, I couldn't see much of anything but people and rainbows. It was a beautiful sight. I was so proud in that moment. I was proud of my race, the human race that is. I was even proud of my country. Proud that we can have a moment like this. Even the cops weren't being too big of assholes. It was such an awesome feeling. The best part of it was that there was an overwhelming feeling of love. This march, this rally was not about hate. It was about love. I know that it was specifically about equality and rights for ALL people, but on a larger scale - it was still about love. The amount of love and camaraderie I witnessed was inspiring and telling. Maybe this world isn't so bleak as I usually think it is. Maybe there is hope for us after all.

I was happy to find every person so friendly and approachable because I rode solo. I know this is probably strange to most people, especially considering I'm straight and have a horrible sense of direction (two things that have nothing to do with each other but are both true) but I was not going to let this pass me by just because I didn't have someone to go with. I want to be able to look back on my life and know that when the times were changing, I stood up for what I knew was right. I found several people who were willing to have me march with them. These two nice gentleman from Houston, TX were keeping me company early in the AM and even gave me a flag because I didn't have any rainbow pride. :) Overall though, the various members of the International Socialist Organization (ISO) that I encountered made the largest impression. It was with ISO and my new group of friends (Nicole, Luis, Katy, Nicole's fiance with the awesome beignet beads who's name I can't remember, and another girl who's name I can't remember but only because she came later) that I marched to the capital with, in the end.

Overall, my experience at the National Equality March was more than positive. I expected to see so many people protesting what we were doing. I expected to be treated with hostility by law enforcement. I thought I would get many more looks coming home on the Metro, holding my Rainbow/Equality Flag. None of my negative expectations came true and I was pleasantly surprised. I did leave early because I was so tired, hungry, and I was actually starting to feel sick. I didn't want to though. The speeches I got to hear before I had to leave were powerful and smart. Many of them mentioning how important it is that us young people understand that we are extremely necessary in this movement, this fight. I can't say enough, how proud I was yesterday of people. I read that there were 200,000 people marching yesterday but I swear to you if felt like 2 million. Two million new best friends out there trying to make a change for the better.

With that, I'll say one final piece and post some pictures. I support the LGBTQ community. I always have and I always will. I am for human rights and whether you like it or not, the LGBTQ community are humans too. Don't tell me you are for human rights but you don't support them. That makes no sense. I try to be respectful toward others and their right to have different opinions but I really don't understand people who feel that all people shouldn't be treated as equals. Whether you like their "lifestyle" or not, it should be obvious that they should have the same rights you and I do. So, I will forever be their ally and will always try to do my very best to support and aide them in their fight for equality. In the end, it's not just their fight, it's all of ours. And even though my legs are burning right now, that just means I need to work out more often because I'd do that march 100x over. I won't shut up and I won't give up until we are all equal. That is all. Enjoy my pictures. :)

Now playing: Dragonette - Liar
via FoxyTunes


  1. Jasmine! your blog is so cool!
    I enjoyed your company, you are so outgoing and funny...and it's so awesome to find many and many more straight allies like you.
    keep up the good work with your blog! now you have a new follower :-)

  2. My Luis!!! :) Yes, it was more than awesome. I hope you read the edited version of my blog because silly me forgot to edit it before I posted it. Either way, Sunday was great and I'm so glad I got to meet all of you! :)