Today is a bit of a departure, as it is Tuesday and I'm showcasing an event from Saturday, but the pictures are so awesome that they truly deserve to be a Sunday Drive. And a guest hosted one as well. My friend Mitchell, who has been a tireless organizer, has been keeping us all on top of the action with his "Warriors of Love" email blasts.
So with his permission, here is his recap of Saturday and his photographs. As much as I love downtown architecture, there is something about the sight of the 20,000 energized activists that makes it truly come alive. Ladies and Gentlemen, let Mitchell introduce you to downtown Los Angeles on one of its finest days:
Now, sadly we didn't get much, if any, media coverage for yesterday's massive turnouts due to the horrific fire devastation in Southern California. So, for those of you who missed it:
The L.A. City Hall rally had what seemed to be 20,000 people, tho' the media estimate is 10-12,000. I know that the previous Saturday's Sunset Junction rally had approx. 10,000 and this was much, much more massive. It was a beautiful day (see the attached pics and more that I'll send afterwards, as Earthlink only lets me send 3 at a time) and the crowd just made everyone excited and happy. There were only a handful of the opposition, this time with a bullhorn, and of course they were being protected by the police, aside from one guy with a bible at 4th and Spring.
To this excitement was added several inspirational speeches by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (w/ intro by Torie Osborn, former head of the National Gay/Lesbian Task Force and current head of the Liberty Hill Foundation), L.A. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo (who spoke of our "manifest dignity"), openly gay Assemblyperson John Perez, Councilmember John Duran, Lorri Jean (head of L.A. Gay/Lesbian Community Center), both of "Hairspray's" Tracy Turnblads: Rikki Lake and Marissa Jaret Winokur (who mentioned that her son is gay, tho' "he's only 3 months old but we're hoping"), Lucy Lawless (Xena- Warrior Princess), comedian Matt Lucas of "Little Britain," two African-American speakers (one gay, one straight), one Latina, and an ex-fosterkid who movingly told of the 13 years that he and his sister had to endure in various foster homes, partially because gay couples weren't allowed to adopt.
Of course, toward the end of all those speakers, many were anxious to March, provoking Councilmember Duran to cut off his speech and say, "O.K. Let's march!" And the thousands upon thousands of us did march, down Spring Street, turning east on 4th Avenue, then north onto Main which we took until it merged w/ Alameda to the park just past Chinatown. All the while we passed hundreds of supporters on the sidewalks and several above in their lofts cheering from their windows, not to mention passing many Los Angeles landmarks, such as City Hall, Olvera Street, the old L.A. Times building, etc. Since we were such a huge crowd, as I was marching down Main, I could look down the east/west streets and still see marchers beginning the route on Spring. It was an amazing rally!
But it wasn't just there. Approx. 1,000 people rallied at Pasadena City Hall and rallies were held all over the state and in several other cities in the nation and the world! In Las Vegas, comedienne Wanda Sykes addressed a rally and said she's "proud to be gay." As if we didn't love her enough already!
I can't imagine seeing as much support for our rights as was out yesterday in any preceding time. Our efforts are going to succeed this time.
With tremendous hope in my heart,