Seeing Signs of Equality
Rev. Meg Riley is the director of Advocacy and Witness at the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Always, at marches, one of my favorite things to do is to watch the signs and banners go by.
Of course, this week at the National March for GLBT Equality, my favorite sign was yellow-orange, featuring a black heart with white letters… Towering 15 feet above the crowd, it proclaimed, “STANDING ON THE SIDE OF LOVE.”
Placards and t-shirts were also everywhere throughout the crowd, so proclaiming. You couldn’t miss them. I’ve seen them in b-roll footage everywhere about the march. I’ve gotten photos from friends across the country. You could see one on The Daily Show’s coverage of the march!
No one looks especially good in that color orange, but it does stand out. When I came into the office Tuesday morning, I was delighted to see a celebratory toast taking place by the Legislative Aides, featuring Tang. Tang tastes pretty bad, but it is exactly the same color as the t-shirts!
But, there were other good signs besides ours at the march. Some emblems and signs were the usuals: Rainbow flags. “Ask. Tell.”
My niece saw an original sign which someone had brought to a Mattachine Society in 1965, when 50 brave souls gathered in front of the White House. Because she is a lawyer, she was especially impressed by its Constitutional orientation. It read: Homosexuals ask for the right to the pursuit of happiness.
But there were other great slogans, too. I always love the ones that people themselves take the time to make. Here are some of my favorites:
One was the subject line for Adam’s most recent SSL email, “Hetero is not Bettero!”
One, held by a guy, read, “If God hates us, why are we so good looking?”
Another, also held by a guy, read, “Would you rather I married your daughter?”
Or, “Jesus had two dads, and he turned out OK.” (To which my smart aleck 13 year old said, “Turned out OK? He got in so much trouble with the law he was executed while still a young man!”)
One young woman had a poster so full of text that it looked like a school report. When I asked her to hold it still so I could decipher it, I read the autobiographical, “I am exploring my sexuality with your daughter! Thank you!”
Adam, being hipper than I, especially loved a sign that read, “I wanna put a ring on it.” The humor of this will be lost on you if you, like me, are not super familiar with Beyoncé’s music. (With incredulity, Adam showed me a video on YouTube of her singing this which had garnered, even without my familiarity, some 72 million hits.)
And on it went. A day to laugh, to be lighthearted and joyful, to soak up each other’s company and prepare for the long winter ahead.