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Love Still Hurts: Reflections on the March on Washington

Love Still Hurts: Reflections on the March on Washington

Writer and lesbian culture guru Diana Cage weighs in on her trip to Washington D.C. and to the National Equality March and rally. Along the way she encountered pissed of dykes and gay seniors citizens all stumping for the long overdue rights. She tips her hat to Lt. Dan Choi and applauds President Obama for opening for Lady Gaga at the HRC dinner... and much, much more.

If your liveblog goes up three days later it's not really liveblogging, is it? I made it to Washington on Friday night, and once things got going I could barely twitter. We never even found time to get properly drunk. Quelle Catastrophe!

Emma Crandall, Diana Cage, Grace Moon

When you're roaming the capital, facing your own marginalization and begging the government to grant you basic rights, you really have to have a sense of humor about it. Luckily I traveled with the three funniest people I know--the snarky writers at and Grace Moon from The four of us figured that if we were going to make an expensive sojourn to D.C.--that none of us marginally-employed writers could actually afford--we were going to do it all.

The trek was awesome, moving and totally fucking disappointing at times. I mean, it's one thing to run around being gay and pretty, my main activity when I'm not writing blogs for Tracy, the iron-fisted master of Shewired-but it's another thing to actually have to think about being gay and pretty. Guess what? Sometimes being gay sucks.

Diana Cage and Knights' Out Founders

Sure I barely scrape by as an over-sexed lesbo author and media mockery, but the only two cities I've enjoyed my rampant lesbianism in are San Francisco and Brooklyn--the two largest bastions of rampant lesbianism.

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Plus I think marriage is overrated, and that makes me a queer with a pretty easy, breezy, beautiful Covergirl life. Don't think I don't know it. Then, bam, I'm in D.C. with 250,000 pissed off homos. Oh yeah, there's a thing called the closet.

There's violence, poverty, oppression, sexism and a whole lot of other bullshit plaguing my people. What really killed me were the older folks, the 80-year-olds with signs saying they'd like to see equality before they died. Point taken.

There was a march, there was a rally, there were speeches and gays in every restaurant and café-all cool things. But it was some of the smaller stuff that got me worked up. Dan Choi, for instance, impressed the fuck out of me.

Lt. Dan Choi

I used to think he was just some gay guy that emailed me every day like Joe "send me another fucking press release" Solmonese. Then I saw him speak. He quoted Gibran Khalil Gibran in beautiful Arabic, then translated it to English. Be a slave to the one you love, he instructed us. I cried, cried, cried. My traveling companion Grace Moon got it on video. Watch him here. You'll cry too.

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Did marching do any good? I don't know.  It got the POTUS to show up to the HRC gala and open for Lady Gaga (his joke not mine).

Lady Gaga at the rally

He gave us a verbal handjob and repeated a lot of things Martin Luther King said in Letter From a Birmingham Jail. Don't get me wrong; I loved it. It got me all worked up. It made people pay attention.

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He drew us to Washington and gave us a nod. Barney Frank said it was a waste of time. But Cleve Jones said it was a rally to organize. It wasn't meant to get us instant gratification. The goal was to stir us to act. And that it did.

Grace and I got pretty reflective about the whole thing yesterday morning. You can read our thoughts about it here. Please, please do, I'd really like to know what you think about the push for equality. Do you see it as broken? We do. Our progress has lagged for 40 years because no one is strong enough to truly lead us. 250,000 of us marched on Washington and meanwhile there's an anti-gay protest going on today at the university campus where my girlfriend teaches gender studies to college freshmen.

This is definitely the first time I've ever quoted Andrew Sullivan, but his column, "The Battered Wife Syndrome Of The Human Rights Campaign" echoed all my thoughts about the state of our leadership. The column was highly critical of the HRC, and Sullivan has been critical of the HRC forever, but this time in particular he was really on point.  Says Sullivan of the HRC, "But their leaders are just so passive, weak-kneed and apologetic, you could mistake their balls for a couple of peas."

It's going to take a whole new generation to actually change anything. And I'm thinking those 80-year-olds hoping for a crumb before they die might not get one.

Get more Diana here on SheWired.

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