When Indy Impact was first founded almost a year ago - the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) community was suffering from a massive blow from the passage of Proposition 8 in California. In a matter of 10 days, grassroots LGBT groups sprung up around the country in order to galvanize those feelings of loss and frustration following Election Day 2008 and turned them into a rallying cry for the gay community:
"WE WILL NO LONGER REMAIN SILENT"
Join Indy Impact and LGBT people across America as we march on Washington DC on National Coming Out Day - October 11th. Indy Impact has organized a special Coming Out Day event for all the Hoosiers who are unable to make it to DC, but want to come out in support of equal rights - regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Find out more about the Coming Out Day celebration after the jump.
Though California was a huge loss in the name of equal rights, only magnified by their Supreme Court upholding Prop 8 a few short months later, we have seen a national surge of support for gay rights across the country. Since November 2008 we have doubled the number of states performing same-sex marriages with more states teetering in our favor over the coming months and years.
In a unanimous decision by their State Supreme Court, Iowa became the first state in the Midwest to allow same-sex marriage, giving all of hope that one day our own state will legally recognize our relationships. Vermont challenged the notion that only "activist judges" are willing to recognize us as equals by overriding a Governor's veto to pass a same-sex marriage bill.
This past year also brought a fully inclusive Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) before congress. Our President has promised an end to the military's "Don't Ask - Don't Tell" policy as well as publically supporting LGBT rights. And after ten long years since Matthew Shepard's brutal anti-gay slaying, a bill, named in his honor, is finally set to give federal protection by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the federal hate crimes law.
In order to continue this momentum, Equality Across America is coordinating a National Equality March on Washington D.C., October 10th and 11th. While lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and their advocates march on Washington, Indy Impact will be bringing their message to the Heartland by hosting a Coming Out Day celebration in downtown Indianapolis on Sunday, October 11th, 2009 from 2PM-6PM in the courtyard of the City-County Building, 200 E. Washington Street.
October 11th - National Coming Out Day - is an important day for the LGBT community to unite under the common experiences we've had when faced with the discrimination, inequality, and even hostility of coming out when we show our true selves. It is in this spirit that Indy Impact will be bringing together members of our community to share our common history fighting for equal rights here in Indiana. Speakers to be represented during the day's events include (but are not limited to - list is tentative and may change at anytime):
- Indiana Equality
- Indy Pride
- Bag Ladies
- Representation from Rep. Andre Carson
- Indie Artist Martine Locke
- LGBT businesses
- Individuals committed to making an impact in the lives of LGBT Hoosiers
Regardless of whether one considers themselves an "activist" or not, by our very nature (and the coming out process endured by all LGBT and even our advocates), we all have a story to share about making an impact for LGBT rights.
We will also provide a number of special events focused on making our community more active in the fight for LGBT rights. Write a postcard to President Obama stating why you need equal rights and protections. Find out how to contact our federal and state representatives about supporting LGBT issues and keeping Indiana's legislature from approving an anti-gay marriage amendment. Learn about the organizations that fight for our rights each and every day and how you can help. This October 11th - COME OUT and become part of the movement demanding "Equal Rights for Equal People."
Indy Impact is a grassroots LGBT activist organization dedicated to making a visable impact for LGBT rights throughout Indiana. Ran completely by volunteers, Indy Impact has joined the national movement for equal rights, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Coming Out Day celebration has been graciously sponsored by The Word who provided us ad space in the October Issue of The Word and IndyPrint.net for the beautiful flyers posted on community boards throughout the city and surrounding area. The event will be professionally photographed thanks to Catherine Keen of Keen Photography. Indy Impact would also like to thank Martine Locke, singer/songwriter, for offering to share her spotlight by inviting Indy Impact to be a part of her concert October 10th. Indy Impact can be found at www.indyimpact.com or on twitter.com/indyimpact. For questions concerning the day's events or how to make an impact for LGBT rights in Indiana, please contact Zac Hart (Co-Founder) at firstname.lastname@example.org