I'm not a blogger.
But until November 4, I wasn't an activist. And until last month I wasn't particularly interested in marching in DC for equality.
I started an organization called White Knot for Equality shortly after "that" election. My goal was to create an easy, universal way of being visible in our support of equal rights, an easy way of almost instant organizing around the issue of equality. Since the founding of White Knot I've become more and more convinced of the importance of visibility, the importance of speaking out and speaking up, and most importantly the importance of organizing. And that's why I am marching in Washington DC and urging the thousands of White Knot wearers across the country I communicate with every week to join me.
Now I'm not going to get into a line-by-line repudiation of Bil Browning or Karen Ocamb's enumerated issues with the March. Many have already done so more eloquently than I could. And the March is happening.
So why is this a good thing? Yes it will be an incredibly visible event. But more importantly, the March will be an outgrowth of a systematic grassroots organizing campaign that will effectively unite our individual and state-centric struggles in a single movement. As I've heard Cleve Jones state it so many times now: Equal protection under the law in all matters governed by civil law in all fifty states.
An eloquent goal. A tremendous amount of work to be done to achieve it. Making the March happen will not be easy, but like my mother always says, nothing worthwhile is ever easy.
Which brings me to why I titled this blog, "Equality Can't Afford a Summer Vacation." There is real work to be done right now. There is organizing that has to happen. Teams are forming in all 435 Congressional Districts. We will win equality the way Obama won, district by district with thousands of passionate people -- LGBT and allies alike -- working together for the common goal of complete equality. This is the real reason for the March. This is why organizing the March is essential. It will set up a powerful network that we will use in the months after the March to affect change. If I can again borrow from Cleve, we will think Federally, but act locally.
So start today. Start organizing near you. There is no reason to wait for leaders because you are the leaders. People are already organizing in states that you might not immediately expect to be leading in the Equality movement. States like Tennessee and Texas.
What can you do? First, sign up for the March. This will make sure you get connected to your local team when it's formed. When you sign up, you can also identify yourself as someone who wants to help do the organizing, who wants to be a leader.
Then start organizing in your own community. Organize groups to travel to DC in October. Organize visits to your local congressional representatives while they are home for their summer break. Use your social networks to get more people involved.
And of course, you can wear a White Knot wherever you go to show your support for equality and hopefully spark some conversation.
The fight for equality can't rest. It can't pause for poolside cocktails. It can't wait to register for a new fall term. It happens every day. Every time an LGBT person comes out. Every time a conversation about equality is had. Every time someone leaves the comfort of his or her surroundings to demand the simple dignity guaranteed us all.
Don't take this summer off. It might be the most important summer of your life.
White Knot for Equality is a non-profit organization devoted to fighting for marriage and overall equality for LGBT people. The White Knot symbol has quickly become the symbol for marriage equality and can be found in more than 1200 cities around the world (all 50 states and 18 other countries). Our goal is to create conversations that need to happen to change hearts and minds.