Monday, 12 October 2009

Action is Hot

There is something very adorable about hopping on a bus from DC back to New York and slowly realizing that just about every other person on the bus is coming back from the National Equality March. And there is something even more adorable about everybody else realizing that at the same time, and then starting to chat with total strangers about where they were from and what they thought of the march and which speakers they found really compelling. (It is less cute when the bus breaks down in Baltimore, but Emma and I ended up talking to this lesbian mom across from us and it turned out to be one of the highlights of my weekend. She was awesome.)

The march itself was a much more galvanizing, energizing, and all-around empowering experience than I expected it to be. It was also way more lefty than I had expected, and it was kind of refreshing to march with anarchists and sit with socialists at the rally at the Capitol. It was stuff like that that made this feel really different from any of the Prides I've attended, and part of the reason I really liked the energy at the march. (Plus, David was right - you can't have a march without anarchists, because nobody else remembers to bring the drum.) The warm fuzzies kept on rolling when a bunch of the speakers at the rally got all fired up about healthcare and immigration reform and social justice in addition to the usual laundry list of HRC-sponsored agenda items. I cannot emphasize how nice it was to not see a beer advertisement during the whole five hours we were there.

The rest of the weekend was a blast, too. I had the usual This Is Your Life moments as I hung out with my brother, my boyfriend, my best friends in college, a couple of friends from Oxford, and alumni and faculty I knew from Harvard at the mixer, and I kept running into people I knew from college mixed into the 200,000 people at the march. David and I also popped by a pre-march brunch with a bunch of the other queer alums of the scholarship that I'm on, and talking to them about the march and the pace of social change all added up to a surprisingly impactful and meaningful weekend. We'll see if it actually translates into any sort of political impact, but I think it's a mistake to focus only on that and not what it meant to the people who were there. (Also, I have never seen as much anti-HRC sentiment in my entire life. And then Cynthia Nixon spoke. It was fairly surreal.)

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