I had the privilege this weekend to attend the National Equality March in Washington, D.C. This event, I expect, is one that will mark history forever; to be a part of it is to be a part of the history of gay rights. This march is my generation's Civil Rights movement, and I participated.
My friends and I from the Lambda Student Union made the long drive from Knoxville, TN to D.C. (eight hours) on Friday, had fun Saturday, and marched throughout the nation's capitol on Sunday. The event was marked by the appearance of several famous people and figureheads in our country, including but not limited to: Cleve Jones, Sherry Wolf, Lt. Dan Choy, Judy Shepard, Lady Gaga, and many more. These people were the ones I was most excited to see. The rally following the march, in which all of these people and more spoke in front of the capitol building, was several hours long. Unfortunately I did not get to stay the whole time for this because we had to leave D.C. so as to not get home much later after midnight. (We left at 3:30 p.m. and still didn't get back to Knoxville to 2 a.m.)
The march was so inspirational. I have never in my life been a part of such a large movement of people. Surveys estimate over 200,000 people showed up for the march (though I think it was much less, but still VERY large)! I can't even believe the event was so successful. People showed up from all over the country, as far away as Texas and California! It was awe-inspiring to go from seeing the Monument Mall on Saturday with just some tourists walking around to seeing the Capitol lawn FLOODED with people.
I'm so honored to have experienced the march, walking and protesting with hundreds of thousands of fellow LGBT people, getting to know them, and listening to what our generation's leaders have to teach us.