National Equality March
Washington, DC
Sunday, October 11, 2009

My housemate Kelly Hutton is a grad student in Latin American Studies at UNM, a political activist, and a prolific Facebooker, in no particular order. She organized a group of New Mexicans to go to the National Equality March on Washington, DC, and having had good memories of similar demonstrations in 1987 and 1993, I tagged along. 

So there I was one sunny autumn Sunday, surrounded by thousands of Americans, exercising that great first amendment right, the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. The official demand for the march was "Equal protection for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states. Now".

Assembling before the March 

Kelly Hutton and Dimas Natividad
Kelly Hutton and Dimas Natividad, from Clovis, New Mexico. This was Dimas's first national political experience, and he was  really inspired by it

Kelly Hutton and Dimas Natividad walking toward the March
Heading toward the March at 8 am


The crowd met at 15th and "I" Street, McPherson Square prior to marching to the Capitol.
Equal Rights are not Special Rights
The march didn't start til 1 pm, so I took the opportunity to wander through the crowd looking for people to photograph
38 Years Together, Ready for Right to Marry "Legalize Gay"
One thing I learned from previous political marches is that participants are there to be seen...
Black and White Men Marriage is a Human Right Not a Heterosexual Privilege
... and so they are usually willing to pose for a photograph. This makes for terrific photography, especially since they essentially come with built in captions
Hate is Not Healthy A little less conversation, a little more action please


Man with A Mac

Man with a Laptop and a Smile

One thing they didn't have back in previous marches was the ability to blog about it on the spot, as this participant appears to be doing

17 Years together -- what is that in straight years?
I hoped to see a lot of clever, creative signs, and I was not disappointed

33 Years in Love
There were a lot of signs like this from men and women looking for governmental recognition of their rights as citizens to marry who they loved

Gay Marriage Killed the Dinosaurs
I love this kind of dry humor

Cheerleader at the March
Some people came dressed to have fun. What a great attitude!

Mr. and Ms Capital Pride Leader and Friends
It seemed to me that previous marches were Gay Pride Marches that emphasized coming out of the closet,
...wanting to be recognized for simply existing. 

Back then it was also about overcoming AIDS. I saw a lot of "Silence=Death" slogans last time. There was none of that this time

Twenty years later, the country, and the culture, has moved on. 

Now the demand is that people who have found their partners deserve the same recognition and especially the same financial benefits and that other married people do. 

Fight the Gender Binary
This time there was more emphasis on Transgender and Queer pride, especially among younger people who, at least to me, seem to have the attitude, "Having to be either male or female is so passé."

Young Participants  

Civil Rights Front for Full Equality
As with previous marches, there were a lot of young people  

Here are some of Kelly's activist friends, all the way from California

I felt a real stirring of emotion to see huge crowds of young students marching

When they came around the corner in the sunlight...
Hampshire College Demands LGBT Equality Now
...with their banners and signs, I truly felt it was a shining moment, 
Mom Gay
the moment where the next generation picked up the torch of political responsibility and ran with it 
Marching in the Streets

Don't Deny Me Gift Registry
Starting the March 

Here's Kelly holding the Equality New Mexico banner as we headed towards the Capitol

I couldn't resist photographing this pink feather boa vendor
Find Fred
Another great thing about a gay march is checking out the studly looking participants 

Even the onlookers were hot

Hat Girls
I don't know if these women were part of the March or not but in their hats, they were irresistible

At the Capitol

At the Capitol, listening to the rally speakers

Capitol Lawn
Sprawled out over the west lawn of the Capitol, the marchers made for a colorful sight

Next step: writing to my representatives in Washington, urging them to support equal rights and equal protection for all citizens of the United States of America

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All contents Leanne Yanabu All rights reserved.
Last updated: November 6, 2009