Thursday, December 11, 2008
The corner of 24th and Mission is my home turf -- and one of San Francisco's launch pads for many a protest march. Tonight it served as the rallying point for people marking the National Day without a Gay. Mission district stalwarts Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and immigrant rights advocate Renee Saucedo both spoke to the crowd of several hundred before taking up the lead banner.
Back in the late 1970s, gays and lesbians used to sometimes say that maybe the hetero-world would learn to appreciate us if we all turned purple. After all, we are everywhere. Unhappily, in the 1980s far too many gay men did suddenly find themselves turned purple -- "outed" -- involuntarily as the AIDS epidemic ripped through the community. These days, another set of activists is demonstrating its presence in response to California voters eliminating our right to marry by passing Prop. 8.
December 10 is international human rights day; marchers think we need equal rights like everyone else.
It's hard to organize a large walkout. But folks care a lot about seeing their equality denied.
For jaded old queers like me, it is good to be reminded that marching still requires bravery for some.
It was cold and dark, but folks seemed both cheerful and determined.
This message seems too simple for some to understand.