Lesbians Come Out to the DC Streets for National Equality March

Gay Rights MarchNATIONAL EQUALITY MARCH: I don’t know if you heard, but there was this Equality March thingie that happened this weekend in Washington D.C.; the crowd was huge, diverse, inspiring and quite creatively dressed. Intrepid Intern Katrina Casino was our on-the-scene reporter, we took a lot of video and we’ll have the full scoop for you unrolling this week. In the meantime, check out our awesome gallery of photos from the event.

At TIME, will a new generation of activists be heard? At The Independent, what’s stopping Obama from striking down DADT?

Just how many people showed up? Depends on who you ask, anywhere from 20,000 to 200,000. Over at inlookingout’s youtube channel, you can all the speakers including Staceyann Chinn, Kate Clinton, Dustin Lance Black, Cleve Jones, Julian Bond, Judy Shepard, Lt. Dan Choi, and a special performance from the cast of HAIR.

Was it worth it? We say: HELL YES. It provided an opportunity for gays to get together and exist in a context besides the more strictly-fun-oriented Pride Marches so often criticized for their shirtless speedo-wearing muscle dudes and we made the front page of a lot of news sources yesterday, which remains very rare these days.

LADY GAGA: Lady Gaga Speaks on the National Mall:

MIRANDA: Cynthia Nixon speaks on the National Mall:

DAN CHOI: Hundreds of LGBT activists and allies gathered at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Arlington National Cemetery to watch DADT-discharge and Arabic linguist Lt. Dan Choi dedicate a wreath to gay and lesbian soldiers who have fallen in the line of duty.

LEFT OUT: Black gay & lesbian couples had higher poverty rates than their black straight counterparts and three times higher than white gay couples, but black working class gays are left out of national gay rights agenda.

THIS SUCKS BAD: One of the four buses transporting Join the Impact marchers from Chicago to New York City for the march broke down in Toledo, Ohio and eventually was able to transport everyone on it … back to Chicago, stranding many of the group’s organizers, signs, and Intern Elizabeth!

POLL: 57% of Americans support Civil Unions for Gay & Lesbian couples. That’s it? WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU THE OTHER 43%??!!! I DON’T KNOW YOU, AND YOU CONFUSE ME.

HATERS: Oh! Here you are. Over at WORLDMag‘s “Obama’s Pledge to Redefine Marriage,” we can see in the comments that an announcement considered to be “not enough” by many gay activists is pretty apocalyptic according to the other side. We’re reminded by commenters that:

“What gets me is how so many want to corrupt the definition of marriage. I watched some of their speakers in DC yesterday and felt such pity for them. Bisexuals, transexuals, homosexual men, lesbians – all proudly defiant in playing their roles victims. Heartbreaking.”

“As a married heterosexual soldier, I’m entitled to on base quarters for my family in the housing area. If a gay man and his constant companion get “married” in a state recognizing it and the Federal govt RECOGNIZES that marriage, all of you–whether you approve it or not– will be providing [gays] on-base subsidized house in a neighborhood overflowing with young children. No wife would accept as normal her husband’s grabbing tail on the side. Male homosexuals from my review of the literature fully expect as a given that there will be occasional flings outside the marriage … Lesbians in contrast tend to be loyal to their partner even if not “married”.


LADY GAGA: Lady Gaga Performs John Lennon’s “Imagine” at the HRC Dinner:

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3212 articles for us.


  1. Thank you Autostraddle for going and marching and reporting on this event for those of us that couldn’t be there. Great job.

  2. I watched the entire c-span coverage online and (unsuccessfully) searched for Autostraddle in the crowd the whole time.
    Seeing the turnout and hearing all the speeches filled my heart with so much love and hope!
    Also: Gaga made me cry. For that, I will love her forever.

  3. Lady Gaga is quite splendid. That song was rad. I am rather unimpressed that I didn’t snag one of those pink GaGa buttons yesterday. “I’m gaga for equality” or whatever. hmph

  4. I admired Lady Gaga before because of her performance art, and I thought her music was decent, but since she started rallying for the march and after that speech, I LOVE HER!

    That Trib article is awesome but it didn’t mention a couple of things- we also had one of Anita Bryant’s granddaughters with us (she didn’t want people to know who she was, and she was there against her grandma’s will!) and we had a man called Jerry with us. Jerry is 70 years old and was a photographer in the 70s who hung out at the camera shop with Harvey Milk and Cleve Jones. He missed the march in 1979 and has always regretted it, so he was going to make up for it this year. When we couldn’t make it he was devastated (and angry). We waited in that truck stop outside Toledo for 5+ hours in the middle of the night before we got a working bus. We had a discussion and vote about whether or not to try for DC, but once the logistics of time and distance were worked out, the defeated vote to return to Chicago was pretty much unanimous. There were a lot of tears. We got dropped off in the middle of the Chicago marathon chaos and more than half of the people went home immediately. The rest of us decided to head for the solidarity rally, but we had 4 hours to kill. We sat in Union station for 2+ hours and then walked around and sat in the Chicago Cultural Center for another hour plus. By the time we got to the rally we had dwindled to a group of ~10 people. But while we waited another ~10 came back, having just gone home to grab more warm clothes and some signage (since the rest were stuck in the broken bus)… We tried to be in front and cheer the loudest. We didn’t want to seem defeated. It was quite the experience. I was so cold and tired after the ordeal, I fell asleep in the shower last night!

  5. Imagine always makes me cry. My son’s class sang it last year at the end of the year performance and I nearly died from choking back tears. Gaga chose very well.

  6. I cannot get over those quotes oh my goodness.
    “all proudly defiant in playing their roles victims?” What does that mean? Also, what literature has that guy been reviewing? I am going to go ahead and assume it has been a bunch of gay porn.


    • i think stating offhandedly that you’ve done a “review of the literature” (???) fully exonerates you from being a total fucking moron, right? ugh. too many fools. my cup runneth over.

      • I think I’m just going to start saying that about everything. “No, my review of the literature tells me pretty conclusively that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is about Sesame Street. I mean, that’s what my review of the literature says.”

      • And he apparently never watched The L Word: “…Lesbians in contrast tend to be loyal to their partner even if not “married”.” That show was, after all, the definitive show about the lesbian lifestyle….

          • I can’t imagine any piece of responsible literature would ever inspire its reader to feel capable of declaring such gross generalities without any first-hand knowledge or specific social study to back up his feelings. FUCKING AMERICA

  7. also spoke? mel from queer as folk! is she straight? i will just google it. and matthew shepherd’s mom, who made me cry. the march was awesome! and based on my eyewitness account, i’m pretty sure cynthia nixon has a big, butch, tattooed bodyguard. i never found autostraddle though, *bloodtear*.

  8. Great coverage all around of this weekend’s events. Keep up the good work!

    Surprising and awesome news of the day: in an email sent out at my work today, it was announced that domestic partners of employees are now eligible for medical, dental, vision, and group life insurance.

  9. i almost forgot! at one point there was this big RAINBOW up in the sky over the march, and it was totally a sunny day, with few clouds, and it hadn’t even rained so i don’t know how there could have been a .3-.5mm sheet of moisture at a certain angle to sun or whatever it is you need to make a rainbow, i forget grade 9 science class. i think it was a big thumbs up from up high.

  10. I wish I could have been there but I am satisfied that autostraddle was there representing the ladez. I would totally vote for ya’ll to be my congress women in lady nation. Word

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