Remember, we march in unity for equal rights for everyone. No exceptions!
LGBT Pride: same struggle, same fight!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
By: Naira Brown
The theme of this year’s Capital Pride Parade reflected the optimism resulting from recent advancements in the gay and lesbian community: "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet." On June 12, tens of thousands of parade-goers lined the streets of Dupont Circle to celebrate that theme. According to Laura McGinnis, the media consultant with Capital Pride, this year’s parade not only celebrated positive advancements, it was also a chance to "re-energize" for upcoming battles the LGBT community faces.
"Thankfully we have marriage in the District, but rights for same-sex couples in Virginia are next to nothing," McGinnis said.
Pride marches and parades occur annually in June throughout the country to commemorate the June 28, 1969, Stonewall Rebellion in New York City. Stonewall marked a pivotal moment in U.S. history, when large numbers of people began to openly fight back against bigotry and oppression against the LGBT community. To this day, pride events occur because visibility is still an important factor in overcoming intolerance.
More than 150 organizations and groups participated in this year’s Capital Pride Parade, including members of the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism). As always, the ANSWER contingent brought an element of political consciousness to the parade.
This year ANSWER volunteers marched through the streets chanting "Up with Equality! Down with the bigotry!" and "They say get back, we say fight back!" The chants were met with enthusiasm with parade watchers joining in.
In addition to anti-war and anti-gay bigotry sentiments, this year the ANSWER contingent included an immigrant rights message. Its banner read: "Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Trans & Immigrant Rights Now!"
For those who wonder how immigration rights fit in with LGBT pride, Ron Sheffer, an ANSWER volunteer, explains that it is a matter of unity: "I think it’s important for all workers to show unity. Discrimination against LGBT workers or immigrant workers is discrimination against all workers," he said.
The contingent also carried signs and a banner calling for the seizure of BP’s assets, part of the Seize BP campaign, and handed out thousands of pieces of literature encouraging people to sign a petition at www.SeizeBP.org. This demand was met with an overwhelmingly positive response from the crowd, including many people thanking the contingent and shouting against BP.
There is still a long way to go toward realizing equality for all workers. The "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which is both degrading and absurd, still exists and has many supporters. Undocumented workers are often not paid even a minimum wage and live in constant fear of being deported. A transgender person can be passed over for hire or can be fired solely based on being transgender. In times of economic crisis the discrimination faced by these groups is often even more acute.
This is why it is important for workers to build solidarity with each other whenever they can, reflected in this important chant, heard at countless equality events: "Gay, straight, Black, white! Same struggle, same fight!"
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Gay, Straight, Trans, Pan, Fluid, Poly, Brown, Red, Yellow, Black, White! Same Struggle, Same Fight!
Posted by De Sube at 6/23/2010 02:54:00 PM