Friday, September 25, 2009

"You going to DC?"

Last week I was at CenterLink's (the national association for LGBT Centers) conference in Philadelphia and decided to ask my comrades (Leaders, all!) in Queerdom if they were planning on going to DC.

Just for sport.

LGBT Centers these days, for most parts of the country, are kind of like mom-and-pop retailers. Kind of quaint in the internet age... not an easy fit with the young activists today.

Anyway, the responses were all over the place. The ED from the Salt Lake LGBT Center told me that really young people are apathetic, but busloads of people in their 30's and 40's (and mostly coupled) are going. Most other areas are just the opposite. It's a youth march.

There is much, much more interest and organizing on the east coast than anywhere else and this march is very much going to be about empowering the next generation. The secondary message to the community at-large is that some of us are going to have to get ready to get out of the way. That was the vibe in Philadelphia last weekend anyway. For whatever that's worth.

Meanwhile, the scary-cool thing about it all is NOBODY KNOWS HOW MANY WILL SHOW UP.

NOBODY HAS A CLUE. The traditional markers used to predict the numbers simply aren't in place (the magic number of participating hotels, official travel sponsors/sites) or are just now getting lined up only 2 or 3 weeks prior to the event.

And yet, if you go to the march website,, you'll see that a lot of events are starting to pop up on the weekend schedule: again, mostly for young activists coming to DC for the first time. Permits are in place and the beast is taking shape.

The list of speakers has just been released:

Stuart Applebaum
Richard Aviles
Jarret Barrios
Dustin Lance Black
Julian Bond
Marsha Botzer
Staceyann Chin
Lt. Dan Choi
Tanner Efinger
Hawaii Board of Education Member Kim Coco Iwamoto
Cleve Jones
Michelle Lopez
Robin McGehee
David Mixner
Nicole-Murray Ramirez
Chloe Noble
Tobias Packer
Reverend Troy Perry
New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn
Los Angeles Council Member Bill Rosendahl
Babs Siperstein
Judy Shepard
Maxim Thorn
Urvashi Vaid
Derek Washington
Falls Church City Council Member Lawrence Webb
Kit Yan
Kip Williams
Sherry Wolf

It promises to be a long (winded) day!
The big question is "Will there still be daylight for the last speaker?"
Answer: "Plueeze."

And, who are half these people anyway???

Hopefully, the young will get to speak too.
If not, I hope they storm the stage.
And take it.

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