On Saturday folks from furbirdsqueerly join with about 45 other people in what was dubbed an Equality March. It was wonderful to see so many LGBT and queer folks out that day. Young folks, old folks, Black folks, Brown folks, white folks, all out for equality bringing their issues out to the streets of Hartford Ct. we wrote this as a response:
“We would like to bring up a point here as lesson. A lesson for learning to all of us in these dreadful times. A light to shine in darkness. A please remember others beside yourselves. A all for one and one for all! This article has been adapted from our comment over at The Equality March Page found HERE.
Before marching I had asked the organizer if she would please have the march go a little slow as some of us would most likely not be able to keep up. This was met by some off remark by someone in the crowd and a laugh by her. When the march was going down Pearl Street I noticed that the front of the march was getting further and further away. I yelled out a few times to slow down and was met with a few off handed remarks from other marchers which took me by surprise, until …Pickles heard me say “Slow Down- Pass it On” and repeated it. Thank you Pickles for passing it on. Thank you for helping stopping and slowing down the marchers. I couldn’t understand why the rush, why would we want to become a blur? The cops were blocking the intersections, no need to rush through, why the rush, were we out to please them so they wouldn’t have to stand there? Did we care about the people sitting in their cars waiting for us to pass so much that we forgot about those who were all ready standing with us? Funny I heard no honks in support of the march from any motorist waiting. It wasn’t pouring rain, or freezing cold. Some of us older people and folks with children were having a hard time keeping up. The children in this march had some wonderful signs that they had made. What did it say to them that the march left them way up Pearl Street.
What was at play here? Self centered ableism? Getting into the moment of the thing and forgetting that everyone who was out that day would help to make this resistance succeed? Breaking a number one rule of revolution (yeah I will call it that for now, when push comes to shove that will be another story) “all for one and one for all.” Forgetting that some are not as able as others for whatever reason? Or as one person said, “These people are just oblivious and only think to the tip of their nose.” Sad commentary on our state if that is the case. What is next non-accessible meeting spaces?
I would like to tell a little story here. In my long history of resistance, I started as a young queer child, I have always made it a point to say when any action was to be taken, or laws to be passed, how will this effect the least of those among us? How will this affect the poor, the elderly, the young? Then I would work up from there. If I couldn’t see advancement for those of us who were not privileged then I would not take part. Many years ago there was an argument about a space that some in the LGBT movement wanted to use. Well the space had 3 stairs to get into. I knew that one of the speakers was in a transportation chair. I couldn’t believe my ears when one person a very able bodied lesbian said, “Well all we have to do is carry him up the stairs.” Needless to say folks on my side of the fence booed her out of the picture and another meeting space was found. What length were we willing to go to? Busting up the group and forming a new one? We were willing at that point.
Another point that should be well taken and contemplated is this, in these times when in small marches we must look out for each other. Folks left behind could become victims and when we rush ahead we put them in danger. No one in that line of march should have made an off remark about stopping and slowing down. One person had the nerve to say, we were “power walking.” So funny I forgot to laugh. What only the able folks got the power? Honey get with it. With messages such as ours wouldn’t a stroll be nicer. Give folks on the sidelines time to read your signs, to hear your chants. Instead we go rushing by, to beat the band, to get to the fire, the fire is in the streets not in front of an empty state capitol.
In the future please remember to check out others, look behind you, get off and out of yourself. Extend your compassion. If you see folks falling behind you and your friends please go and walk with them. One thing please don’t be just like trump and his boys, leaving seniors and the young behind. That is what I took away from this lesson. I know many folks who are out and about protesting today are new at the game with many lessons to learn and I know one lesson is to stop being so damned privileged. You and I well know, we all have a lot to learn in these times.
Onward and forward! Remember, “What force on earth is weaker than the feeble force of one!” Together we are strong. This resistance will not succeed with only you, if you think so welcome to the end of the cliff. Equality March? Equality March? Equality March? Come on folks forget your able body fast walking selves? Equality march no it isn’t when some are left way up the next block.