UPDATEDx2 — Genius Artist DC and I marched in the National Equality March on Oct. 11

by CynthiaYockey on October 12, 2009

Updated, 10/12/09: I just added part 2 of Julian Bond’s speech. There’s still no posting on YouTube of Michelle Clunie’s speech. Also, welcome dear PUMAs from Stray Dogs that Amble In: Part IV — the dismissal of the hundreds of thousands of participants in yesterday’s National Equality March as the “Internet left fringe” by a White House official has angered the PUMAsphere, as well. See my comment on that below. And welcome dear readers from The Other McCain; Stacy observes — without gloating or rancor — “White House pimp-slaps gay-rights movement? That’s gonna leave a mark!” And read his wedding post, too [update, 10/13/09: the post has been deleted — it’s a shame because it had so many lovely photos of the bride]ย  — Stacy is really just a big old girl when it comes to weddings and with his love of weddings and match-making, I do believe he may come around to supporting homosexual marriage equality just so he can make more matches and attend more weddings!

Updated, 10/12/09: I have added Michelle Clunie’s speech. And welcome, readers of dear Little Miss Attila — I share her love of the Jefferson Airplane.

Cynthia Nixon (actress, “Sex and the City”):

Julian Bond, part one:

Julian Bond, part two:

Lt. Dan Choi:

Lady GaGa — she totally won my heart with this speech:

Michelle Clunie (actress, “Queer as Folk”):

The cast of “Hair” singing “Let the Sunshine In”:

It was really a perfect October day — clear blue skies, temperature around 70 — to get together with my friend, Genius Artist DC, and a couple hundred thousand of, well, mostly strangers, to yell at the White House/President Obama and Capitol Building/Congress that the time to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) and pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is right this instant.

I have embedded above the speakers I enjoyed the most: Julian Bond, Cynthia Nixon (“Sex in the City”), Lt. Dan Choi, Lady GaGa and the cast of “Hair” singing “Let the Sunshine In.” I’ll update this or post the video of Michelle Clunie (“Queer as Folk”) when it’s available.

I’m so glad I attended both the Tea Party march on 9/12 and the National Equality March on 10/11. What I know from living in both those worlds is that I need to figure out how to explain why the speakers at both events only make sense to people who already agree with them, which is not very helpful when your goal is to persuade. And I must learn how to fill in the gaps and be able to translate between Right-ese and Left-ese. Gays are one of the groups that is self-reliant enough and embraces goals that are idealistic enough — marriage, military service and working for a living instead of figuring out how to poach the fruits of someone else’s labor — to make them the natural constituency of conservatism. I covet them for the Right and I am trying to figure out how to attract them in droves. (The other two groups that would prosper more on the Right than the Left are women and Jews.)

Several of the speakers at the National Equality Rally, which followed the march, called Obama on his refusal to set deadlines for the repeal of DOMA and DADT and the passage of ENDA, but then they all completely blew their opportunity to empower their listeners by telling them to go back to their home districts and work there. Work is the LAST thing we should be doing! What the speakers should have done is told everyone there to go on strike immediately and completely stop working for the Democrats and donating to them until the legislation gays need for equality has been signed into law by Obama before the break for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Because I’m thinking that will help Obama shift his priorities.

Until today I thought that the obstacle to Obama’s delivering on his promises of equality for the lesbian and gay community was the strength of his allegiance to groups on the Left that hate gays: black preachers and their church members, illegal immigrants and Muslims.

Now I think that’s just a part of it. That’s because today I realized that the real reason Obama does not support any of the initiatives for homosexual equality must be that homosexual equality will not contribute to the destruction of the U.S. as a capitalist democratic republic. If it did, rest assured Obama would defy his gay-hating constituencies.

Genius Artist DC hadn’t planned on marching until we spoke yesterday because he is recovering from a leg infection and needed a wheelchair to participate. Well, I have a wheelchair and hadn’t wanted to go alone, so we attended together! After we arrived at the Capitol Building, I was able to wheel him to a fence where we had a clear view of the stage. When I turned around to look at the others there with us in the National Equality March, the marchers appeared to me to be mostly in their 20’s. The last big gay rights march in D.C. was in 2000, so this march introduced a new generation of lesbians and gays to political activism. (Margaret and I marched in the 1987 and 1993 Gay Pride marches in D.C., but missed the one in 2000; I didn’t have the strength thenย  because my sleep apnea was so advanced and a trip like that would have involved lifting her at least 18 times.)

In contrast to the crowd at the National Equality March, the Tea Party marchers seemed to me to be mostly aged 40 to 70’s and included far more people who needed electric three-wheel scooters or some kind of wheelchair for their mobility. Don’t get me wrong — it’s impressive how many people with jobs ‘n’ stuff came to the Tea Party in D.C.

For both marches, the real benefit that the marchers take away is that they were among tens of thousands of like-minded people with the result that they will never feel alone again — a great brain and nervous system has formed, and a heart, and in today’s Internet age, with the capacity to communicate in so many ways — e-mail, blogs, videos, text messages, Facebook — their connections to one another will flourish mightily.

Update, 10/12/2009: John Aravosis reports that a White House official called us an “Internet Left fringe.” Yo, Obama! Way to piss off your base, dude! (H/T Memeorandum.) Here’s the video:

Update, 10/12/2009: Dear SYD from Stray Dogs that Amble In: Part IV links this post in her survey of PUMA bloggers who support the cause of homosexual equality and are angered that we were all dismissed yesterday by an official in the Obama White House as an “Internet left fringe.” Nobody knows how dirty Obama plays better than the PUMAsphere. I thought of them a few minutes ago when I was serving my father his lunch and saw the crawl on CNN announce the Hillary Clinton says she will not run for president again. Hah! thought I — Obama your god is a jealous god and thou shalt have no other gods before him! What a weakling! Why do you suppose Secretary Clinton would even bring this up? I figure Obama wants to keep the field clear of all the worthier Democratic contenders for the election in 2012, since right now is when prospective rivals should be examining precinct maps and brushing their hats to prepare them to be tossed into the ring.

Where was I? Oh, yes, do read SYD’s post — here is a delicious sample:

Yesterday, Not Your Sweetie covered the schadenfreude over at the Sullivan and Aravosis blogs. Cry us a river, boiz. Wah-wah. And next time you decide to choose a candie date, do a little research into his/her voting (and marching) history.

Many PUMAs reported on the Nobel Peace Prize farce over the weekend. As did the Log Cabin Republicans. Who can blame them? I have a few more things to say about that, myself. Probably tomorrow.

For today tho… I want to recognize the millions of Americans that are being discriminated against because of who they love. I think they deserve our support…. even if some of them did lose our respect during the 2008 Democratic Primaries.

Update, 10/13/2009: Welcome, readers from Villainous Company, you have quite the spirited discussion going on over there.

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SYD October 12, 2009 at 6:16 am

Remember yesterday? When PUMAs were “Conservatives?”

Well, guess what. TODAY we are “Left Wing Fringe.”


Overnight transformation! Wow!
.-= SYD´s last blog ..Nobel Prize Committee: "Let’s Go Out and Get Us a MAN that No One Could Possibly Question. You Know, An American Idol Type!" =-.

I R A Darth Aggie October 12, 2009 at 9:41 am

SYD, sounds like The Won is trying to portray himself as a middle-of-the-roader, beset by those dirty Rethuglikkkans on the right, and the Internet fringe on the left.

Surrounded by “teabaggers”, what’s a President to do?

Attmay October 12, 2009 at 10:17 am

My fellow gays should think twice before they turn their backs on the right. Instead of turning farther left, you should think about the good that tax cuts do for gay businesses, that the right to bear arms has in dealing with hate crimes, and that if you want the right to serve in the military openly maybe you should support a strong defense?

Graumagus October 12, 2009 at 11:05 am

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I’ve been reading you, Cynthia.

One major obstacle is unfortunately the religious right. The vast majority of highly religious folks I know personally are more likely to be allies against intolerance, even if they think that homosexuality isn’t part of God’s plan.

But stereotypes don’t start themselves. I also personally know a few “holy folk” who would be just fine resurrecting sodomy laws and poking their noses into everyone’s bedrooms. Marriage is only between a man and a woman, and THEN only if the Church gives it’s blessing types. The folks that hard core are a very vocal minority that are always there to be trotted out as the boogieman for the lefties to keep Gays and Lesbians punching the “D” ticket at the ballot box.
And not without reason, as many republicans dance to their tune.

However, even the most noble of politicians are whores to some extent, when it comes to financial support and votes. If Comrade Obamavich keeps giving gays and lesbians the cold shoulder, taking Gay/Lesbian activism as his due, and supporting the folks who really want to KILL you instead of just bleating about how you’re going to burn in hell, it provides a definite opening to swing gays and lesbians over to a new wing over here on the right. Add in the socially libertarian/fiscal conservatives such as my self (and there are a LOT of us) and you have yourself the makings of the kind of takeover the Republican party desperately needs if it wishes to survive.

I may be full of crap here, since I have not ever been involved in the gay/lesbian community, but I think a good place to start would be to talk to those folks involved with the Pink Pistols. Those who have decided to shoulder the responsibility of defending themselves and reject victimhood are 75% of the way to being conservatives anyway, if they aren’t already ๐Ÿ™‚

SYD October 12, 2009 at 11:15 am
Laura(southernxyl) October 12, 2009 at 11:54 am

Thatโ€™s because today I realized that the real reason Obama does not support any of the initiatives for homosexual equality must be that homosexual equality will not contribute to the destruction of the U.S. as a capitalist democratic republic. If it did, rest assured Obama would defy his gay-hating constituencies.

Do you think that’s it? I think it’s more that he just really doesn’t care. When you get right down to it, he doesn’t give a damn. It’s easy to make a speech, he is used to getting positive feedback and likes that, but anything more requires some level of energy expenditure and it’s not worth it to him.

I base this on his throwaway comment about the Special Olympics, which I don’t think it would have been in him to make if he cared at all about the disabled or respected them as human beings.

Cynthia Yockey October 12, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Laura (southernxyl),

Yes, I do. I’ll be reviewing United in Hate by Jamie Glazov soon — as I wrote a few weeks ago, Dr. Glazov updates the insights of Eric Hoffer to apply to the present day. He explains why the three constituencies who ought to be with conservatives — homosexuals, women and Jews — are instead fighting on behalf of the enemies of capitalism and liberty, who also have the destruction of homosexuals, women and Jews at the top of their “to do” list.

Obama is an enemy of capitalism and liberty — that animosity animates all the proposals that he’s really pushing, or gotten enacted. Once you realize that, and grasp that he is a sociopath who tells people whatever they want to hear so they will hand over their money and power to him although he has no intention of keeping his side of the bargarin, then everything Obama says and does makes sense.

Very few other bloggers have figured this out, so they go after Obama piecemeal instead of realizing there is indeed a core explanation for all his contradictions and betrayals, which is why I will keep harping on it until a critical mass of people have caught on.


Attmay October 12, 2009 at 5:35 pm


Regrettably, the Pink Pistols don’t seem to be doing much of anything. Their blog’s last entry is from 2007, which is not a good sign.

A third party will do no good in the long run, except siphon off a few votes from Democrats. The time for gays to rebuild burnt bridges between them and the Right is right now.

You are correct about the influence of the Religious Wrong. It’s time for Michael Steele to wise up and see that they continue to cost the GOP votes and support, and all the talk about “Reagan’s Three Pillars of Conservatism” won’t change that fact. Times have changed, and the pillar of social conservatism needs to be replaced with a pillar of social libertarianism: one that trusts adults to act like adults and face the consequences for their actions, while acknowledging that you can’t freeze a free society in amber. Besides, northern Republicans tend to be more socially liberal than southern Democrats.

The other two pillars (fiscal conservatism and defense) can stay. Bush’s spending sprees no longer seem like such a betrayal of fiscal conservatism now that we have a trillion dollar and growing deficit. And we will face a conflict with Iran no matter how much we try to avoid it; it’s been coming for 30 years.

No matter how long it takes, the Religious Wrong will lose the war on gay equality, just like the White Supremacist Dixiecrats (who used the Bible to justify their bigotry) lost the war on black equality. And as for religious blacks who resent the comparisons between the struggles of blacks and gays: Julian Bond doesn’t think so. Coretta Scott King (who shared my birthday) didn’t think so. The arguments used to attack us were once used to attack you, and they don’t magically become valid when they are transferred to another group.

Actually becoming a left fringe we were just accused of being is a worse idea. If the GOP gets back into power without any attempt by gay activists to build a dialogue between them, then all of us will suffer. It’s a two party system. Attaching all our goals to one party is what made the Democrats into the do-nothings. LCR had the right idea by endorsing no one in 2004. They need to hold the GOP’s feet to the fire. Stonewall Democrats need to do the same to their party. They can’t just be cheerleaders for their own party.

In the meantime, keep up the protests. I’ve always believed the Pride Parades were too much like parties and should be marches for equality.

In short, it’s time for the gay activists to grow up.

Attmay October 12, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Another word about the Religious Wrong: a lot of them became political activists to help get Jimmy Carter elected. They turned on him in 1980 for the same reason everyone else did: his actions and inactions as President.

They don’t have principles. They just support whoever invokes Jesus the most.

Keep in mind that when I became a conservative (on some days I will refer to myself as a libertarian, but that’s usually when some idiot like Sally Kern calls us “worse than terrorists”), I tried to understand and respect their viewpoints to see where they were coming from, but they crossed the line with Prop H8. They’re not just people who disagree with me; they are actively standing in the way of my rights as an American. I won’t stand for them tarnishing my beliefs, my party, and my country by association.

Graumagus October 12, 2009 at 10:47 pm

I noticed the utter lack of blogging on Pink Pistol’s site soon after I posted my comment, and I agree. Dropping them an e-mail to see if they are still viable. I truly hope so. Gay bashing tends to lose it’s appeal when the bash-ee starts giving the bash-ers high velocity lead poisoning ๐Ÿ™‚

I also agree with you about a third party, Attmay. Which is why I advocate working within the Republican party: get Libertarian leaning conservatives elected to office and don’t let them forget or take you for granted like the liberals do. At least those who object to your very existence on religious grounds do so up front. The Democrats use the Gay/Lesbian community like an abusive spouse and all too often they enable them to do so over and over again. Nice to see some folks starting to wake up.

I’m not so much pro Gay/Lesbian as pro “who the hell are YOU (or I, for that matter) to tell others how to live” (which is why I do not get along with the hardcore religious sect OR the socialist nanny statists).

I would LOVE to see even a solid 20% of the activists in the Gay/Lesbian community decide to use conservatism to further their goals. I honestly think it would be great for the country in the long run.

PS: I also think Sally Kern should have a gold star sticker pasted on her shirt by her keepers for managing to generate enough brain current to speak AND keep her heart and lungs working. Given how little she obviously is capable of producing, blathering that crap could have proven fatal ๐Ÿ™‚

Amy October 13, 2009 at 1:14 am

Sorry, I am only halfway through but had to stop and say…love the Lt. Dan Choi drama. The man was born for the stage. God bless him for his service and his sense of theatrics.

Back to reading.

: )

Amy October 13, 2009 at 1:26 am

Me again. Just thinking at this point, who the heck is the Lt. saluting? He’s in uniform and I don’t see any superior officers. And I’m not happy with the crowd response. Do they not understand how incredibly brave this is? I realize it’s unusual for a member of the military to address a crowd like this, but that makes me think that he should get a standing o. Crowd response seems lukewarm to me, except for the chanting part.

Just my up too late two cents.

Geez, at this point I will never get through this post.

As always, love your work.

Cynthia Yockey October 13, 2009 at 9:20 am

(Updated with a P.S.)


First, how cool is that the American flag had a prominent place on that stage? About the salute, from the stage Lt. Choi was facing both the crowd and the Washington Monument, which is surrounded by flags — even though it was some 20-ish blocks away he would have had a clear view of it.

As for the crowd reaction to Lt. Choi, we were rooting for him with all our hearts but we were all a bit flummoxed when he quoted Khalil Gibran in Arabic because the translation in English had the word “slave” in it. We had to process what he meant by that and I think we were not all on board with devotion and love being characterized as slavery. And we had to figure out whether he was talking about sado-masochism, which views relationships as master-slave. We had to ponder, in our community of sexual minorities, a little longer than the average person to understand what he meant. (BTW, I have a public history from the 1980’s/early 90’s of denouncing sado-masochism in gay papers and even had one of my pieces in the Lambda Rising Book Report censored by masochistic editor Robert Dirmeyer to remove true and very sickening information about S/M. So when I had booths at Gay Pride Day for the various groups that I founded and led back then, random sado-masochists in menacing attire would come scream at me.)

Anyway, yes, we were totally clear on Lt. Choi’s service and sacrifice. I expect many in the crowd, including me, have been following his fight through e-mails from the Courage Campaign, gay bloggers and gay media. And, personally, I had deja vu from the April 1993 March on Washington because Sgt. Jose Zuniga was then in exactly the position that Lt. Choi is in now. Gays are only just starting to wake up to the realization that conservatives support the immediate repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and that it’s Obama and the Democrats that don’t care and don’t want to repeal it.

But back to the crowd response to Lt. Choi — we loved him, we admired him, we respected him, we were rooting for him, but we had a hard time figuring out what he meant and when he wanted us to cheer.

Oh, another thing — everyone was very respectful of the police officers and while the crowd didn’t quite have the attitude of the Tea Partiers about littering in front of the Capitol building — that it would be sacrilege — around 5:30 pm a volunteer came around with a handful of trash bags and distributed them in the crowd. I signalled her and she tossed me one so I could police my area. When they finally closed the event at 6:05 pm, the place was swarmed with volunteers wearing their official march volunteer t-shirts and they gathered up the small amount of litter, which was mostly discarded signs and a few empty water bottles, in a twinkling. So both the police and the Capitol building and Mall were treated with great respect. And our country was honored by the display of the American flag on the stage.

I’ll have to look and see if there’s a YouTube of the British woman who told us that “America the Beautiful” was written by a lesbian. She led us in singing it, and we put our hearts into it, but she departed so much from the traditional version that we couldn’t really build up a lot of steam, which is why I didn’t post it. My sense is that the people in the National Equality March love America, and the ideals of America, and would be even more devoted to America, BUT America does not reciprocate our love with equality — speaker after speaker spoke of the Constitution and America’s ideals with a mixture of love and hurt and incomprehension of how homosexuals do not have equality and equal protection under the Constitution. How can that be? the speakers asked, speaker after speaker. Really, we do not understand. If there is separation of church and state, why have religions been allowed to appropriate the apparatus of the state to impose their teachings about homosexuality? To say nothing of the fact that the teachings are motivated entirely by greed and lust for power, and therefore require all of their followers to produce as many babies as possible because numbers are power and wealth, so homosexuals must be punished with second-class citizenship for refusing the coercion to form relationships that produce children (even though 20 percent of homosexuals have biological children and more would be happy to adopt the children discarded, um, put up for adoption or foster care, by straight people).



I just re-read your comment and realized I didn’t tell you why Lt. Choi didn’t get a standing ovation. It’s because we were already standing, packed like sardines. We raised our arms and waved signs to give emphasis to our cheers. And after an hour or so, I was hoarse and I expect others were, too, which made call and response cheers harder to do. ALTHOUGH — late in the day, when one or two socialists were extolling socialism, I was not too hoarse to shout, “Booooo!” and when one asked for the crowd response of what we want to accomplish after repealing DOMA, DADT and enacting ENDA, I called out with my trained soprano voice, which I know carried to the stage since I was so close to it, “Destroy socialism!” Well — she asked!

Amy October 16, 2009 at 10:31 am

Cynthia – thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. I’m not much of a deep thinker, I tend to go with my gut. So all I have to add to this debate is that I don’t understand why conservatives, who (and rightly so) say that strong families are the key to a strong and good society, would have an objection to people wanting to create families, regardless of the gender of the parties involved. And the military ban is just effing stupid. I have an absolutely wretched Congressman, but the one thing I give him points for is his stance on DADT…he speaks out strongly against it. Plus, his Advocate cover did make him look kinda cute…

And, LOL, guess I should’ve rephrased my standing ovation comment.

The thing about you is…you make so much damn sense. : )

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