I attended my first event since joining... www.jointheimpactchicago.com on August 15th. Together with 41 other cities, it was time to fight back the recent arrest of several gay people in Utah and Texas and elsewhere, just for kissing in public. I loved the spirit of these young activists. The rally was very successful. It was held at Millennium Park in front of Cloud Gate (aka The Bean). I volunteered to be a Gay Flag bearer. Other volunteers handed out candy kisses.
It was a beautiful day... while several million people took in the Air Show at North Avenue Beach, there were the many tourist visiting the free attractions at the downtown park. I was stopped by quite a few tourist, asking "what the celebration was all about"? Many were with their children. I explained about the arrest... and the need to let people know, even though it is the 21st Century... these things are still happening. I also added my own reasons for getting involved. Over 50 years ago, at the same location (when it was called Grant Park) I was walking with my first lover, and remember thinking to myself... why can't we hold hands? Who would we be hurting just doing so? Well, that was long ago... It's sad to know... in some places, some people are still getting arrested... just for being themselves.
It reminded me of my friend Leonard Matlovich, (who was kicked out of the Army, for being gay and it made the cover of "Time" Magazine back in September of 1975. (His official web-site LEOARDMATLOVICH.COM) He died in 1988, and on his tombstone at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington D.C. it is engraved... WHEN I WAS IN THE MILITARY THEY GAVE ME A MEDAL FOR KILLING TWO MEN AND A DISCHARGE FOR LOVING ONE.
This is also one of the reasons for marching in October.
Equal rights for gays, in the Army, in marriage... here, there and everywhere, and until that happens, there will always be a need to SPEAK OUT AND FIGHT BACK!