Only time will tell exactly what effect the National Equality March in DC will have. Will the crowds move from the streets of the Capitol back to their home states and districts? I hope so. Will it further the divide between the beltway gays and the grassroots or build much-needed bridges? I’m not holding my breath on that one.
One thing that I don’t have to “wait and see” about is the personal effect the March had on me. That’s what this blog is about- the personal, emotional response I had to this event. The impact was immediate, powerful, and, at times, overwhelming.
First- let me explain where I am coming from. I live in Florida, one of the most conservative, backwards states in the union. We have one of the most far-reaching anti-equality marriage amendments in the nation, no protections for LGBT people in employment or housing, and the only blanket ban on gays and lesbians adopting, among other odious anti-LGBT laws. Fighting for change in the state can too often seem like standing in a dark room alone and screaming at the wall. It’s exhausting, discouraging, and sometimes seemingly impossible work. Knowing that in a “state-by-state” strategy world we’ll be one of the last to make headway can be soul crushing. But we fight on- letting the small victories, like electing our own to local offices and passing protections where we can, keep our hope alive, alone as we feel at times.
That’s what the March did for me- I saw our community, in all its diverse glory, together and energized. It gave me hope and recharged my batteries to keep fighting against the odds. It reconnected me, and so many others like me, to each other.
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