Yesterday, Towleroad unveiled a massive roster of A-list supporters for the National Equality March. We'll be marching next to my boyhood crush Chad Allen, Mad Men's Bryan Batt, my current crush Dustin Lance Black, Alan Cummings, Harvey Fierstein, the ever-gorgeous Judith Light, Jack Mackenroth, Judy Shepard, Charlize Theron, Bruce Vilanch and Judge David Young this National Coming Out Day.
It's an illustrious list full of A-list actors, politicos (Tom Duane, Tammy Baldwin, Danny O'Donnel, David Mixner, Richard Socarides and Christine Quinn are all on the list too) and movers and shakers from all over this great nation. Star-studded would be the descriptor.
I haven't exactly been ecstatic about the march, but I know its being done in good faith. Everywhere I look I see more supporters. I'm surrounded by supporters: Bil Browning, Pam Spaulding and other Bilerico bloggers, as well as my two co-hosts from Lundon Calling, the legendary Mr. Ace Lundon and Lance Helms...
Oh... and me. Apparently I am endorsing the National Equality March.
I will make a statement in support of the march now, though I was a little surprised to be in this list. I think I can place the blame on Mr. Ace Lundon for this--and I'm not sorry, because this is a very impressive list to be part of.
This march did not come at a great time. This march is not the perfect use of our resources. This march is an incredible distraction from other local campaigns that I think deserve a lot more attention than they are getting.
However, though I was not planning on doing so, I would like to endorse the march now. The last thing we need is another nit-picking queen complaining about someone actually trying to do something positive in this movement that so desperately needs and deserves unity.
I think the march is actually not harmful for the movement, but rather going to be a great starting-point for important work to begin locally. I have my reservations, but what Kip and Cleve are doing is really something we need--we need a summit where we can learn how to harness our power around the country and maintain our momentum.
You Try Corralling Cats
I'm no seasoned veteran of decades, but I'm no spring chicken, either, when it comes to LGBT activism. Let me tell you something, this game has never been clean and neat and orderly. Its messy, and it's a jumble, and its amazing that we get anywhere or get anything done. But we do.
In 2000, couples from all over the nation--and across the globe--traveled to Vermont to have their relationships recognized by a government. It didn't matter to them that back home, they'd still be known as strangers. It was the sheer power of the moment. We've been pushing hard to see it everywhere ever since, with nothing but faith that good will eventually triumph over evil to propel us to liberation.
We've fought public opinion, hatred, violence, murder, economic oppression, religious abandonment and familial estrangement to come to this moment, where we now have the opportunity (after we've finally rid ourselves of the horrible shroud of King George II) to demand our rightful place in society as American citizens. Cleve Jones and the march organizers are asking for equal protection in all legal matters governed by this system of ours. That means that I should be seen as equal to my neighbor at my job--and be judged by the job that I do, and not by whom I'm married to. And speaking of marriage, we probably ought to have that too.
Despite our enduring questions, we owe Cleve Jones and Kip Williams a big round of applause and a thank you for the work they've put into the march. Its hard enough for me to get four queers together for a planning lunch here in Champaign, IL. I imagine it's a might harder to corral thousands of us from all over the nation, with our different agendas, personalities and egos.
Agree or disagree with the march, they've done something fantastic; in a totally uphill-battle kind of way. They've maintained a totally professional face amidst the months of criticism and the nit-picking (especially coming from the likes of me) and have slowly earned our trust and support by remaining positive and standing firm. We all ought to learn a little something from this.
Our Own Worst Enemy
A few months ago, Queerty slammed Servicemembers United for their "Voices of Honor" tour promoting the 'Don't Ask/Don't Tell' repeal; merely for pairing up with HRC, for all I can tell. Our leaders aren't perfect, and we are rougher on their missteps than Detroit is on its Red Wing goalies (they're not very nice, in case you don't know... we used to go through them like champagne on New Years).
Just last week in a fit of frustration, Gays United Network's Nakhone Keodara circulated an extremely bitter and unprofessional release about the Gays U.N.'s pulling of support of the Courage Campaign's efforts for the 2010 repeal of Prop 8. The infighting and name-calling has done, well, nothing. It makes us all look bad, and gives heart to our enemies.
No, instead we all need to take a second and say: "Just because this isn't the way I would do things--or even if its not exactly the most sensible way to do things--this is my brother or my sister. They are not evil. We're working toward some common goals. Maybe there are some differences, but in the end, we all want one another to be liberated."
So I throw my support behind the march. I only have one request: Pam, Waymon, Joe, Andy, and... Queerty: could you please update your posts so that where the list says "Phil Reese, Talk Show Host, 'Lundon Calling'" it also says "and Bilerico Contributor." I wouldn't mind if you also added "President of the Champaign-Urbana chapter of the Judith Light Fan Club."
Cleve, Kip and gang, please also see to the change and assure its added to any future releases of the list.
Also, if you use my picture on any of the promotional materials, bitches, make sure that you use one of my skinny pictures. I have a stockpile already pre-picked. Just check in with me, and I'll send them to you. You know where to find me.
Also, its my birthday today, so please donate to the LGBT cause or campaign of your choice in my name, and if any of you actually know Judith, I'd love to meet her!