We’ve just come from the One Nation Working Together march at the National Mall. It was inspiring to see such a diverse crowd and the atmosphere was hopeful and friendly.
But there was something missing: The LGBT community.
Apparently One Nation doesn’t include our stories, our lives, or the policies that affect our community most dramatically. While we agree the lack of equal opportunities in employment and education is clearly a systematic problem across the board, these are issues that also acutely affect the LGBT community. And yet no mention of the Employment Non-Discrmination Act in promotional materials for the march, little to no representation of or from the LGBT community, and no leaders of our movement spoke- from what we saw.
What gives? The list of endorsers has several local and national gay and lesbian organizations and a lot of resources for the planning of the march came from our community. Clearly the opportunity to discuss the issue and to have representation in the rally was there. Both the planners of the march and our community itself failed to answer the call.
Even the LGBT table at the organizational outreach section was abandoned when we arrived:
We did see a few individuals and groups at the march, which you can see below. The people we met were upbeat and proud. But with so many issues and organizations present the spotlight went to the loudest and proudest groups, which was not us.
We had a great chance to make some allies in the progressive movement, demonstrate our commonality, and broaden the discussion of our place at the table. Instead, we skipped the party altogether.
All photos by Jamie McGonnigal & Sean Carlson, (c) TalkAboutEquality.com