LGBT people from all over the United States will converge in Washington D.C. on the weekend of June 10 and 11 for two major national events.
The Equality March for Unity and Pride will be held Sunday, June 11—the same weekend as D.C. Pride (June 8 to 11)—though the events are being planned by two separate groups.
Details for the event are still being pinned down, as the march appears to still be in the planning stages. The website, equalitymarch2017.com, has been reserved, but as of late April the domain was still directing to godaddy.com. A Facebook page has been established as the main means of communicating information about the march.
Organizers are hoping to capture the same “momentum” as the Women’s March. The first such demonstration, the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, took place in 1979, drawing around 125,000. The largest LGBT march on D.C. was held in 1993 and drew close to one million people. This year’s event will be the first large-scale LGBT march on Washington since 2009.
Several Tennesseans are attending the National Equality March for Unity and Pride, including Ernie Hoskins, from Knoxville, Tennessee. Hoskins said the election of Donald Trump and the actions of his administration have motivated him to make the trip to the nation’s capital.
“I think it's more important now than ever to stand up for who we are. We have a president who does not respect anyone, including the LGBT community, so we need to stand together and resist.” Hoskins said. “I know that the trip will give me a real sense of community. I hope that the march shows everyone that we've fought too hard to go back and that we will not be silenced.”
But the action won’t just be taking place in D.C. Organizers of the Equality March for Unity and Pride are encouraging pride organizations across the country to hold simultaneous rallies and marches—much like the recent women’s march did.
Nashville will join many other cities, including Chattanooga (Tennessee), Austin (Texas), Portland (Maine), Indianapolis (Indiana), Seattle (Washington), and Sydney (Australia), which have announced solidarity marches. You can view a Google map that shows all of the cities with marches and rallies at goo.gl/RrB1ya.
Phil Cobucci, president of Nashville Pride, said Nashville Pride has worked with their partners at The National March for Equality and Pride, as well as Interpride, the organization of Pride planners, to host an event that works in line with our local Pride calendar.
"We have decided to host a rally with our sister organizations in the LGBT and Ally community in solidarity with the march that will be taking place on Washington on June 11,” he said. “The plans are still coming together for the event and we will be announcing more details soon on our website and social media pages. If community members are interested in participating in the program, they should reach out to Nashville Pride via email or social media."
Cobucci said that Nashville Pride would also hold its annual Equality Walk as part of the Nashville Pride Festival on June 24 at 10 a.m. To volunteer or help in the planning of either event, visit nashvillepride.org/volunteer to get routed to the appropriate working group and board member.
Out & About Nashville will be sending a team to D.C. to report on the event. Watch our social media accounts for live reports throughout the weekend.